Theta EEG oscillatory activity and auditory change detection

Ll Fuentemilla, J. Marco-Pallarés, T. F. Münte, C. Grau*

*Corresponding author for this work
55 Citations (Scopus)


The mismatch negativity is an electrophysiological marker of auditory change detection in the event-related brain potential and has been proposed to reflect an automatic comparison process between an incoming stimulus and the representation of prior items in a sequence. There is evidence for two main functional subcomponents comprising the MMN, generated by temporal and frontal brain areas, respectively. Using data obtained in an MMN paradigm, we performed time-frequency analysis to reveal the changes in oscillatory neural activity in the theta band. The results suggest that the frontal component of the MMN is brought about by an increase in theta power for the deviant trials and, possibly, by an additional contribution of theta phase alignment. By contrast, the temporal component of the MMN, best seen in recordings from mastoid electrodes, is generated by phase resetting of theta rhythm with no concomitant power modulation. Thus, frontal and temporal MMN components do not only differ with regard to their functional significance but also appear to be generated by distinct neurophysiological mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain Research
Pages (from-to)93-101
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 18.07.2008

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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