, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 428-437
Date: 29 Oct 2013

Scalp Current Density Mapping in the Analysis of Mismatch Negativity Paradigms

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MMN oddball paradigms are frequently used to assess auditory (dys)functions in clinical populations, or the influence of various factors (such as drugs and alcohol) on auditory processing. A widely used procedure is to compare the MMN responses between two groups of subjects (e.g. patients vs controls), or between experimental conditions in the same group. To correctly interpret these comparisons, it is important to take into account the multiple brain generators that produce the MMN response. To disentangle the different components of the MMN, we describe the advantages of scalp current density (SCD)—or surface Laplacian—computation for ERP analysis. We provide a short conceptual and mathematical description of SCDs, describe their properties, and illustrate with examples from published studies how they can benefit MMN analysis. We conclude with practical tips on how to correctly use and interpret SCDs in this context.