Feature versus gestalt representation of stimuli in the mismatch negativity system of 7- to 9-year-old children

Sophie Molholm, Hilary Gomes, Jacqueline Lobosco, Diana Deacon, Walter Ritter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We examined preattentive auditory change detection in 7- to 9-year-old children. The question of interest was whether the preattentive comparison of stimuli indexed by the scalp-recorded mismatch negativity (MMN) was performed on representations of individual stimulus features or on gestalt representations of their combined attributes. The design of the study, based on a work by D. Deacon, J. Nousak, M. Pilotti, W. Ritter, and C. Yang (Psychophysiology, 1998), was such that both feature and gestalt representations could have been available to the comparator mechanism generating the MMN. The data indicated that for the majority of the children-those that exhibited an inverse relationship between the amplitude of the MMN and the probability of the deviant-the MMN was based on feature-specific information. This study also provides a method to obtain MMNs to deviants in three different features in the time usually required to obtain an MMN to a single acoustic feature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-393
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Auditory event-related potentials
  • Children
  • Feature
  • Intensity 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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