Mismatch negativity and stimulus-specific adaptation in animal models

Israel Nelken*, Nachum Ulanovsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations


Animal models of MMN may serve both to further our understanding of neural processing beyond pure sensory coding and for unraveling the neural and pharmacological processes involved in the generation of MMN. We start this review by discussing the methodological issues that are especially important when pursuing a single-neuron correlate of MMN. Correlates of MMN have been studied in mice, rats, cats, and primates. Whereas essentially all of these studies demonstrated the presence of stimulus-specific adaptation, in the sense that responses to deviant tones are larger than the responses to standard tones, the presence of real MMN has been established only in a few. We argue for the use of more and better controls in order to clarify the situation. Finally, we discuss in detail the relationships between stimulus-specific adaptation of single-neuron responses, as established in the cat auditory cortex, and MMN. We argue that this is currently the only fully established correlate of true change detection, and hypothesize that it precedes and probably induces the neural activity that is eventually measured as MMN.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)214-223
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Psychophysiology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2007


  • Auditory cortex
  • Change detection
  • Electrophysiology
  • Habituation
  • Novelty detection
  • Sensory memory


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