The neural circuitry of pre-attentive auditory change-detection: An fMRI study of pitch and duration mismatch negativity generators

Sophie Molholm, Antigona Martinez, Walter Ritter, Daniel C. Javitt, John J. Foxe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

232 Scopus citations


Electrophysiological studies have revealed a pre-attentive change-detection system in the auditory modality. This system emits a signal termed the mismatch negativity (MMN) when any detectable change in a regular pattern of auditory stimulation occurs. The precise intracranial sources underlying MMN generation, and in particular whether these vary as a function of the acoustic feature that changes, is a matter of some debate. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we show that anatomically distinct networks of auditory cortices are activated as a function of the deviating acoustic feature - in this case, tone frequency and tone duration - strongly supporting the hypothesis that MMN generators in auditory cortex are feature dependent. We also detail regions of the frontal and parietal cortices activated by change-detection processes. These regions also show feature dependence and we hypothesize that they reflect recruitment of attention-switching mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-551
Number of pages7
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • Auditory
  • Change-detection
  • MMN
  • Pre-attentive
  • fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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