Auditory mismatch negativity deficits in long-term heavy cannabis users

  • Patrik Roser
  • Beate Della
  • Christine Norra
  • Idun Uhl
  • Martin Brüne
  • Georg Juckel
Original Paper


Mismatch negativity (MMN) is an auditory event-related potential indicating auditory sensory memory and information processing. The present study tested the hypothesis that chronic cannabis use is associated with deficient MMN generation. MMN was investigated in age- and gender-matched chronic cannabis users (n = 30) and nonuser controls (n = 30). The cannabis users were divided into two groups according to duration and quantity of cannabis consumption. The MMNs resulting from a pseudorandomized sequence of 2 × 900 auditory stimuli were recorded by 32-channel EEG. The standard stimuli were 1,000 Hz, 80 dB SPL and 90 ms duration. The deviant stimuli differed in duration (50 ms) or frequency (1,200 Hz). There were no significant differences in MMN values between cannabis users and nonuser controls in both deviance conditions. With regard to subgroups, reduced amplitudes of frequency MMN at frontal electrodes were found in long-term (≥8 years of use) and heavy (≥15 joints/week) users compared to short-term and light users. The results indicate that chronic cannabis use may cause a specific impairment of auditory information processing. In particular, duration and quantity of cannabis use could be identified as important factors of deficient MMN generation.


Cannabis Long-term effects Cognitive deficits Event-related potentials Mismatch negativity 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrik Roser
    • 1
  • Beate Della
    • 1
  • Christine Norra
    • 1
  • Idun Uhl
    • 1
  • Martin Brüne
    • 1
  • Georg Juckel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryRuhr-University BochumBochumGermany

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