Visual mismatch negativity to masked stimuli presented at very brief presentation rates

Flynn, M., Liasis, A, Gardner, M. and Towell, A. 2017. Visual mismatch negativity to masked stimuli presented at very brief presentation rates. Experimental Brain Research. 235 (2), pp. 555-563.

TitleVisual mismatch negativity to masked stimuli presented at very brief presentation rates
AuthorsFlynn, M., Liasis, A, Gardner, M. and Towell, A.
Abstract

Mismatch Negativity (MMN) has been characterised as a ‘pre-attentive’ component of an event-related potential (ERP) that is related to discrimination and error prediction processes. The aim of the current experiment was to establish whether visual MMN could be recorded to briefly presented, backward and forward masked visual stimuli, given both below and above levels of subjective experience. Evidence of visual MMN elicitation in the absence of the ability to consciously report stimuli would provide strong evidence for the automaticity of the visual MMN mechanism. Using an oddball paradigm, two stimuli that differed in orientation from each other, an + and an x were presented on a computer screen. Electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded from nine participants (six females), mean age 21.4 years. Results showed that for stimuli that were effectively masked at 7ms presentation, there was little variation in the ERPs evoked to standard and deviant stimuli or in the subtraction waveform employed to delineate the visual MMN. At 14 ms stimulus presentation, when participants were able to report stimulus presence, an enhanced negativity at around 175 ms and 305 ms was observed to the deviant and was evident in the subtraction waveform. Although some of the difference observed in the ERPs can be attributed to stimulus characteristics, the use of a ‘lonely’ deviant protocol revealed attenuated visual MMN components at 14 ms stimulus presentation. Overall, results suggest that some degree of conscious attention is required before visual MMN components emerge, suggesting visual MMN is not an entirely pre-attentive process.

Keywordsvisual mismatch negativity, subliminal, EEG, ERPs, conscious perception
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Journal citation235 (2), pp. 555-563
ISSN0014-4819
Year2017
PublisherSpringer
Publisher's versionFlynn_et_al-2016-Experimental_Brain_Research.pdf
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1007/s00221-016-4807-1
Publication dates
Published online03 Nov 2016
Published in printFeb 2017
Published03 Nov 2016
LicenseCC BY 4.0

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