Memory reactivation or reinstatement and the mismatch negativity

Walter Ritter, Elyse Sussman, Sophie Molholm, John J. Foxe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Previous studies have suggested that the memory underlying the mismatch negativity (MMN) can be deactivated by a period of silence and later reactivated. An alternative is that the memory becomes inapplicable due to a period of silence and subsequently reinstated. Both interpretations rest on the absence of a MMN for a deviant in Position 1 of a train (showing deactivation or inapplicability of the memory) and the presence of a MMN in Position 2 of the train (evidencing reactivation or reinstatement of the memory). In these studies, the standards were fixed across all trains of a given condition. Hence, it is not clear if the MMN elicited in Position 2 requires presentation of multiple trains with identical standards or only a single train. Experiment 1 showed that a single train is sufficient. With data from recent studies, Experiment 2 showed that MMNs in Position 2 of trains are due to reinstatement rather than reactivation of the memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-165
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Event-related potentials
  • Memory reactivation and reinstatement
  • Mismatch negativity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry


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