Using Mismatch Negativity to Study Central Auditory Processing in Developmental Language and Literacy Impairments: Where Are We, and Where Should We Be Going?

Department of Experimental PsychologyUniveristy of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
Psychological Bulletin (Impact Factor: 14.76). 08/2007; 133(4):651-72. DOI: 10.1037/0033-2909.133.4.651
Source: PubMed


A popular theoretical account of developmental language and literacy disorders implicates poor auditory temporal processing in their etiology, but evidence from studies using behavioral measures has yielded inconsistent results. The mismatch negativity (MMN) component of the auditory event-related potential has been recommended as an alternative, relatively objective, measure of the brain's ability to discriminate sounds that is suitable for children with limited attention or motivation. A literature search revealed 26 studies of the MMN in individuals with dyslexia or specific language impairment and 4 studies of infants or children at familial risk of these disorders. Findings were highly inconsistent. Overall, attenuation of the MMN and atypical lateralization in the clinical group were most likely to be found in studies using rapidly presented stimuli, including nonverbal sounds. The MMN literature offers tentative support for the hypothesis that auditory temporal processing is impaired in language and literacy disorders, but the field is plagued by methodological inconsistencies, low reliability of measures, and low statistical power. The article concludes with recommendations for improving this state of affairs.

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    • "These ERP responses have been used in children to gauge brain maturation (Liu et al., 2014) and to study specific childhood neurological disorders. They are altered in specific language impairment (Bishop, 2007; Hommet et al., 2009), reflect risk of familial dyslexia (Maurer et al., 2003), and are even predictive of reading ability (Maurer et al., 2009). The MMN have been shown to change with musical training (François et al., 2013; Chobert et al., 2014; Putkinen, 2014) although, to the best of our knowledge, they have not been used to date to evaluate changes in brain plasticity during MT in neurorestorative settings. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study was a two-armed parallel group design aimed at testing real world effectiveness of a music therapy (MT) intervention for children with severe neurological disorders. The control group received only the standard neurorestoration program and the experimental group received an additional MT " Auditory Attention plus Communication protocol " just before the usual occupational and speech therapy. Multivariate Item Response Theory (MIRT) identified a neuropsychological status-latent variable manifested in all children and which exhibited highly significant changes only in the experimental group. Changes in brain plasticity also occurred in the experimental group, as evidenced using a Mismatch Event Related paradigm which revealed significant post intervention positive responses in the latency range between 308 and 400 ms in frontal regions. LORETA EEG source analysis identified prefrontal and midcingulate regions as differentially activated by the MT in the experimental group. Taken together, our results showing improved attention and communication as well as changes in brain plasticity in children with severe neurological impairments, confirm the importance of MT for the rehabilitation of patients across a wide range of dysfunctions.
    Frontiers in Neuroscience 12/2015; 9(427). DOI:10.3389/fnins.2015.00427 · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    • "In contrast , in studies in which the difference in sound frequency of stimuli is large (> 10%), group differences are not statistically detectable (Hämäläinen Leppänen, Guttorm, & Lyytinen, 2008; Meng et al., 2005; Schulte-Körne, Deimel, Bartling, & Remschmidt, 2001; Sharma et al., 2006). Bishop (2007), in her review of findings of ERP studies of frequency processing in individuals with language impairment and dyslexia , arrived at a similar conclusion regarding the processing of small and large differences in sound frequency among those with dyslexia. There are two exceptions to this pattern of results. "

    • ", 2011 ) . Deviance detection for speech sounds works similarly to other types of sounds with phonetic features showing categorical effects with respect to the languages spoken by the listener ( for reviews see , Bishop , 2007 ; Näätänen , 2001 ; Pulvermüller & Shtyrov , 2006 ; Rimmele , Sussman , & Poeppel , 2015 ) . Speaker and speech segrega - tion from noise and from other speakers has been extensively stud - ied in the literature ( e . "
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    ABSTRACT: Communication by sounds requires that the communication channels (i.e. speech/speakers and other sound sources) had been established. This allows to separate concurrently active sound sources, to track their identity, to assess the type of message arriving from them, and to decide whether and when to react (e.g., reply to the message). We propose that these functions rely on a common generative model of the auditory environment. This model predicts upcoming sounds on the basis of representations describing temporal/sequential regularities. Predictions help to identify the continuation of the previously discovered sound sources to detect the emergence of new sources as well as changes in the behavior of the known ones. It produces auditory event representations which provide a full sensory description of the sounds, including their relation to the auditory context and the current goals of the organism. Event representations can be consciously perceived and serve as objects in various cognitive operations. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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