Measuring temporal resolution in infants using mismatch negativity
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We show that the mismatch negativity (MMN) component of the event-related potential can be used to measure auditory temporal resolution in human infants. Infrequent stimuli with silent gaps of 4, 8, or 12 ms modulated the P2 component, generated MMN, and produced a P3a-like positivity. The data indicate that within-channel gap detection thresholds at 6 months are essentially at adult levels under conditions of little adaptation. Since MMN is elicited without attention and does not require a behavioural response, it can be measured similarly across the lifespan. We are now in a position to study the development of cross-channel temporal resolution and adaptation effects in infancy, and to examine how these abilities in infancy relate to later language acquisition.
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