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Visual Mismatch Negativity (vMMN) a Prediction Error Signal in the Visual Modality

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195602 Year: Pages: 202 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-560-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46

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Current theories of visual change detection emphasize the importance of conscious attention to detect unexpected changes in the visual environment. However, an increasing body of studies shows that the human brain is capable of detecting even small visual changes, especially if such changes violate non-conscious probabilistic expectations based on repeating experiences. In other words, our brain automatically represents statistical regularities of our visual environmental. Since the discovery of the auditory mismatch negativity (MMN) event-related potential (ERP) component, the majority of research in the field has focused on auditory deviance detection. Such automatic change detection mechanisms operate in the visual modality too, as indicated by the visual mismatch negativity (vMMN) brain potential to rare changes. VMMN is typically elicited by stimuli with infrequent (deviant) features embedded in a stream of frequent (standard) stimuli, outside the focus of attention. In this research topic we aim to present vMMN as a prediction error signal. Predictive coding theories account for phenomena such as mismatch negativity and repetition suppression, and place them in a broader context of a general theory of cortical responses. A wide range of vMMN studies has been presented in this Research Topic. Twelve articles address roughly four general sub-themes including attention, language, face processing, and psychiatric disorders. Additionally, four articles focused on particular subjects such as the oblique effect, object formation, and development and time-frequency analysis of vMMN. Furthermore, a review paper presented vMMN in a hierarchical predictive coding framework. Each paper in this Research Topic is a valuable contribution to the field of automatic visual change detection and deepens our understanding of the short term plasticity underlying predictive processes of visual perceptual learning.

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