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Laboratory of Neuropsychophysiology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Porto, Portugal
Department of Audiology, School of Allied Health Sciences, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, 4400-330 V.N. Gaia, Portugal
School of Criminology, Faculty of Law, University of Porto, Portugal
Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, University of Turku, Finland
Publication date: 2013-06-30
Corresponding author
David Tomé   

David Tomé, Laboratory of Neuropsychophysiology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Porto, Portugal, Tel.: +351 939591301; Fax: +351 222061001, e-mail: dts@estsp.ipp.pt
J Hear Sci 2013;3(2):9-15
Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is a neurological disorder that directly affects cortical areas responsible for auditory processing. The resulting abnormalities can be assessed using event-related potentials (ERP), which have high temporal resolution. However, little is known about TLE in terms of dysfunction of early sensory memory encoding or possible correlations between EEGs, linguistic deficits, and seizures. Mismatch negativity (MMN) is an ERP component – elicited by introducing a deviant stimulus while the subject is attending to a repetitive behavioural task – which reflects pre-attentive sensory memory function and reflects neuronal auditory discrimination and perceptional accuracy.

We propose an MMN protocol for future clinical application and research based on the hypothesis that children with TLE may have abnormal MMN for speech and non-speech stimuli. The MMN can be elicited with a passive auditory oddball paradigm, and the abnormalities might be associated with the location and frequency of epileptic seizures.

The suggested protocol might contribute to a better understanding of the neuropsychophysiological basis of MMN. We suggest that in TLE central sound representation may be decreased for speech and non-speech stimuli.

MMN arises from a difference to speech and non-speech stimuli across electrode sites. TLE in childhood might be a good model for studying topographic and functional auditory processing and its neurodevelopment, pointing to MMN as a possible clinical tool for prognosis, evaluation, follow-up, and rehabilitation for TLE.

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