Brain Topography

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 451–466

Mismatch Negativity (MMN) as an Index of Cognitive Dysfunction

  • Risto Näätänen
  • Elyse S. Sussman
  • Dean Salisbury
  • Valerie L. Shafer

DOI: 10.1007/s10548-014-0374-6

Cite this article as:
Näätänen, R., S. Sussman, E., Salisbury, D. et al. Brain Topogr (2014) 27: 451. doi:10.1007/s10548-014-0374-6


Cognition is often affected in a variety of neuropsychiatric, neurological, and neurodevelopmental disorders. The neural discriminative response, reflected in mismatch negativity (MMN) and its magnetoencephalographic equivalent (MMNm), has been used as a tool to study a variety of disorders involving auditory cognition. MMN/MMNm is an involuntary brain response to auditory change or, more generally, to pattern regularity violation. For a number of disorders, MMN/MMNm amplitude to sound deviance has been shown to be attenuated or the peak-latency of the component prolonged compared to controls. This general finding suggests that while not serving as a specific marker to any particular disorder, MMN may be useful for understanding factors of cognition in various disorders, and has potential to serve as an indicator of risk. This review presents a brief history of the MMN, followed by a description of how MMN has been used to index auditory processing capability in a range of neuropsychiatric, neurological, and neurodevelopmental disorders. Finally, we suggest future directions for research to further enhance our understanding of the neural substrate of deviance detection that could lead to improvements in the use of MMN as a clinical tool.


Mismatch negativity (MMN)Clinical applicationNeurodevelopmentalNeuropsychiatricNeurological

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Risto Näätänen
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Elyse S. Sussman
    • 4
  • Dean Salisbury
    • 5
  • Valerie L. Shafer
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia
  2. 2.Center of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience (CFIN)University of AarhusArhusDenmark
  3. 3.Cognitive Brain Research Unit (CBRU), Institute of Behavioural SciencesUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  4. 4.Departments of Neuroscience and OtorhinolaryngologyAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA
  5. 5.Western Psychiatric Institute and ClinicUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  6. 6.Ph.D. Program in Speech-Language-Hearing SciencesThe Graduate Center of the City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA