Mismatch negativity in dichotic listening: Evidence for interhemispheric differences and multiple generators

Leon Y. Deouell*, Shlomo Bentin, Marie Helene Giard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


The characteristics of mismatch negativity (MMN) elicited by dichotic stimulation were examined using frequency-deviant stimuli presented to the right, to the left, or to both sides. The experiment was run twice, once using earphones and once using loudspeakers in free field. With both modes of stimulation, deviants presented in the left, right, or both ears, or tones that were switched between ears, elicited comparable MMNs, with a peak latency of about 180 ms. With earphones, the amplitude of the MMN was bigger at the frontal-lateral right hemisphere sites than at the homologous left- hemisphere sites for all deviance conditions. Scalp current density analysis revealed that deviance in the right side elicited bilaterally equivalent frontal current sinks and a trend towards stronger contralateral current sources at the mastoid sites. In contrast, left side deviance elicited frontal sinks and temporal current sources stronger over the right hemiscalp. These results are compatible with the multiple-generator model of MMN. The attention-related role of the MMN is discussed, suggesting comparable attention mechanisms for vision and audition.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)355-365
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998


  • Auditory attention
  • Dichotic listening
  • Event-related potential
  • Interhemispheric asymmetry
  • Mismatch negativity
  • Scalp current densities


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