An electrophysiological measure of temporal resolution in normal subjects using frequency modulated signals.


This investigation was conducted to determine whether an exogenous event-related potential called the mismatch negativity (MMN) would change systematically in response to frequency-modulated signals with varying temporal properties. Both N1 and P2 waveforms were recorded for 50-ms frequency-modulated signals from normal hearing listeners. The standard stimuli for this investigation were continuous sweep tones with center frequencies of 1000 Hz that traversed a frequency range of 200 Hz in a single step. The rare stimuli were signals that traversed the same frequency range in two, four, six, or eight discrete steps. Results suggest that for the 10 participants, 1) the mean MMN peak-to-peak amplitude and mean area decreased significantly with decreases in step duration, 2) MMN area amplitude was the best indicator of psychophysical performance for the two magnitude measures, and 3) MMN onsets and peak latencies did not show either a significant increase or decrease in latency as step duration decreased.