Browsing by Subject "MMN"

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  • Vaquero, Lucia; Ramos-Escobar, Neus; Cucurell, David; Francois, Clement; Putkinen, Vesa; Segura, Emma; Huotilainen, Minna; Penhune, Virginia; Rodriguez-Fornells, Antoni (2021)
    The mismatch negativity (MMN) is an event related brain potential (ERP) elicited by unpredicted sounds presented in a sequence of repeated auditory stimuli. The neural sources of the MMN have been previously attributed to a fronto-temporo-parietal network which crucially overlaps with the so-called auditory dorsal stream, involving inferior and middle frontal, inferior parietal, and superior and middle temporal regions. These cortical areas are structurally connected by the arcuate fasciculus (AF), a three-branch pathway supporting the feedback-feedforward loop involved in auditory-motor integration, auditory working memory, storage of acoustic templates, as well as comparison and update of those templates. Here, we characterized the individual differences in the white-matter macrostructural properties of the AF and explored their link to the electrophysiological marker of passive change detection gathered in a melodic multifeature MMN-EEG paradigm in 26 healthy young adults without musical training. Our results show that left fronto-temporal white-matter connectivity plays an important role in the pre-attentive detection of rhythm modulations within a melody. Previous studies have shown that this AF segment is also critical for language processing and learning. This strong coupling between structure and function in auditory change detection might be related to life-time linguistic (and possibly musical) exposure and experiences, as well as to timing processing specialization of the left auditory cortex. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time in which the relationship between neurophysiological (EEG) and brain whitematter connectivity indexes using DTI-tractography are studied together. Thus, the present results, although still exploratory, add to the existing evidence on the importance of studying the constraints imposed on cognitive functions by the underlying structural connectivity.
  • Lindstrom, R.; Lepistö-Paisley, T.; Makkonen, T.; Reinvall, O.; Nieminen-von Wendt, T.; Alen, R.; Kujala, T. (2018)
    Objective: The present study explored the processing of emotional speech prosody in school-aged children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) but without marked language impairments (children with ASD [no LI]). Methods: The mismatch negativity (MMN)/the late discriminative negativity (LDN), reflecting pre-attentive auditory discrimination processes, and the P3a, indexing involuntary orienting to attention-catching changes, were recorded to natural word stimuli uttered with different emotional connotations (neutral, sad, scornful and commanding). Perceptual prosody discrimination was addressed with a behavioral sound-discrimination test. Results: Overall, children with ASD (no LI) were slower in behaviorally discriminating prosodic features of speech stimuli than typically developed control children. Further, smaller standard-stimulus event related potentials (ERPs) and MMN/LDNs were found in children with ASD (no LI) than in controls. In addition, the amplitude of the P3a was diminished and differentially distributed on the scalp in children with ASD (no LI) than in control children. Conclusions: Processing of words and changes in emotional speech prosody is impaired at various levels of information processing in school-aged children with ASD (no LI). Significance: The results suggest that low-level speech sound discrimination and orienting deficits might contribute to emotional speech prosody processing impairments observed in ASD. (C) 2018 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Gallen, Anastasia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Objectives. Formal musical training has shown promising effects on auditory discrimination in children, but it is not within reach of every family as it is time-consuming and costly. This study aimed to determine whether at-home musical intervention and activities enhance neural auditory speech sound discrimination accuracy in children with or without a familial dyslexia risk. Methods. A follow-up sample of 113 children with or without risk of dyslexia participated. During the first six months of infancy, 57 of the children with a familial risk participated in at-home music listening intervention, including vocal or instrumental music. Musical activities at home were assessed with a questionnaire at 24 months of age. Speech sound discrimination accuracy was assessed at 28 months, with change-elicited responses derived from EEG. Linear mixed-effects (LME) models were applied to study the association between neural responses and musical enrichment. Results. The LME models showed that the association between speech sound discrimination accuracy and musical activities differed between the groups. In post-hoc comparisons, this association differed between the vocal intervention group and the other risk groups. The group without the familial risk did not differ from the risk groups. Conclusions. The observed bidirectional associations of musical activities and vocal listening intervention with change-related cortical processing potentially reflect two separate mechanisms of neural maturation and compensatory activation. Hence, vocal intervention and musical activities might promote specific aspects of auditory neural development. Understanding these associations is relevant in both guiding future research and in preventing language disorders.
  • Moisseinen, Nella (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Aivoverenkiertohäiriö (AVH) on maailmanlaajuisesti merkittävimpiä kielen ja auditiivisen havaitsemisen vaikeuksien aiheuttajia. Viime vuosikymmeninä musiikin ja kielen harjoittamisen on havaittu edistävän aivoissa paitsi modaliteetin sisäistä (kieli–kieli, musiikki–musiikki) havaitsemista myös siirtymävaikutusta erityisesti musiikista kielen havaitsemiseen. Tämä Pro Gradu -tutkielma selvitti äänikirjojen ja musiikin kuuntelun vaikutuksia varhaiseen puheen ja musiikin havaitsemiseen ensimmäisestä aivohalvauksesta toipuvissa aivoissa. Kontrolloituun tutkimusasetelmaan kuului kaksi interventioryhmää, joista toinen kuunteli päivittäin äänikirjoja ja toinen musiikkia ensimmäisten kahden kuukauden aikana aivohalvaukseen sairastumisesta; kontrolliryhmä ei saanut kuunneltavaa materiaalia. Potilaiden (N = 55) varhaista puheen ja musiikin havaitsemista aivoissa mitattiin äänisarjassa poikkeavan tavun (puhe) ja soinnun (musiikki) magneettisella poikkeavuusnegativisuusvasteella (magnetic mismatch negativity, MMNm) akuuttivaiheessa sekä seurantamittauksissa kolme ja kuusi kuukautta aivohalvaukseen sairastumisesta. Magnetoenkefalografisten (MEG) vasteiden lähteet aivoissa paikannettiin erotuskäyrien miniminormiestimaateilla (MNE) potilaiden yksilöllisissä, rakenteellisiin magneettiresonanssikuviin (MRI) perustuvissa aivomalleissa. Vasteiden lähteet rajoitettiin kuuteen puheen ja musiikin havaitsemisen kannalta keskeiseen alueeseen (keskimmäinen ja alempi otsalohkopoimu, ylempi ja keskimmäinen ohimolohkopoimu sekä supramarginaalinen ja kulmapoimu). Ryhmä- ja leesion hemisfäärin interaktiot analysoitiin tilastollisesti toistomittausten varianssianalyysillä näillä alueilla. Lisäksi interaktiotulokset korreloitiin (Pearson) neuropsykologiseen kuntoutumiseen verbaalisen muistin, työmuistin, kielen ja musiikin havaitsemisen osa-alueilla aivovasteiden laajemman osallisuuden selvittämiseksi auditiivisessa tiedonkäsittelyssä. Tutkimuksessa havaittiin, että äänikirjojen kuuntelu tehosti varhaista kielen havaitsemista vasemmanpuoleisilla otsalohkon alueilla kontrolliryhmään verrattuna; MMNm:n lateralisoituminen vasemmalle ilmeni kolme kuukautta aivohalvaukseen sairastumisesta ja oli lisäksi yhteydessä verbaalisen muistin paranemiseen äänikirjaryhmällä. Musiikin havaitseminen puolestaan herätti MMNm- ja P3a-komponentin yhdistelmän, jonka amplitudi vasemmalla alemmalla otsalohkopoimulla korreloi negatiivisesti työmuistin ja verbaalisen muistin paranemiseen kuusi kuukautta aivohalvaukseen sairastumisesta. Musiikin kuuntelu paransi suoriutumista, kun äänikirjojen kuuntelu oli yhteydessä kasvavaan amplitudiin ja heikkenevään työ- ja verbaaliseen muistiin; ilmiö todennäköisesti liittyy musiikin aikaansaamaan aktivaation levittäytymiseen aivoissa. Yhdessä tulokset viittaavat siihen, että äänikirjojen kuuntelu voi kehittää varhaista auditiivista havaitsemista kielimodaliteetin sisällä, joskaan se ei suoraan tue myöhempää, tarkkaavuuteen ja/tai musiikkimodaliteettiin liittyvää havaitsemista. Musiikin kuuntelu sen sijaan ei tue varhaista puheen havaitsemista suoraan, mutta voi edistää aivohalvauksen jälkeisiä plastisia muutoksia havaitsemisen ja verbaalisen muistin kannalta edullisemmalla tavalla.
  • PATH Study Grp; van Schaik, Ivo N.; Mielke, Orell; Bril, Vera; Saarela, M.; Auranen, M. (2019)
    Objective To investigate the long-term safety and efficacy of weekly subcutaneous IgPro20 (Hizentra, CSL Behring) in chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP). Methods In a 48-week open-label prospective extension study to the PATH study, patients were initially started on 0.2 g/kg or on 0.4 g/kg weekly and-if clinically stable-switched to 0.2 g/kg weekly after 24 weeks. Upon CIDP relapse on the 0.2 g/kg dose, 0.4 g/kg was (re)initiated. CIDP relapse was defined as a deterioration by at least 1 point in the total adjusted Inflammatory Neuropathy Cause and Treatment score. Results Eighty-two patients were enrolled. Sixty-two patients initially received 0.4 g/kg, 20 patients 0.2 g/kg weekly. Seventy-two received both doses during the study. Sixty-six patients (81%) completed the 48-week study duration. Overall relapse rates were 10% in 0.4 g/kg-treated patients and 48% in 0.2 g/kg-treated patients. After dose reduction from 0.4 to 0.2 g/kg, 51% (27/53) of patients relapsed, of whom 92% (24 of 26) improved after reinitiation of the 0.4 g/kg dose. Two-thirds of patients (19/28) who completed the PATH study without relapse remained relapse-free on the 0.2 g/kg dose after dose reduction in the extension study. Sixty-two patients had adverse events (AEs) (76%), of which most were mild or moderate with no related serious AEs. Conclusions Subcutaneous treatment with IgPro20 provided long-term benefit at both 0.4 and 0.2 g/kg weekly doses with lower relapse rates on the higher dose. Long-term dosing should be individualized to find the most appropriate dose in a given patient. Classification of evidence This study provides Class IV evidence that for patients with CIDP, long-term treatment with SCIG beyond 24 weeks is safe and efficacious.
  • Tirkkonen, Leena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Objectives. The change in the pitch of musical sounds causes measurable effects in the cortex of newborn infants. Mismatch negativity (MMN), caused by unexpected changes in stimuli, is an event related potential (ERP) component that reflects preconscious differentation ability. In babies, MMN may be of either positive or negative polarity. MMNs to the change of musical intervals or chords have also been detected in babies. This study repeated an earlier study related to musical chords, with an almost identical setup. Additional research questions were set: Does a half-an-hour exposure to chords have any effects? Can infants be grouped into clusters based on sleep stage, gender or cortical reactions in ways that affect measured results? Methods. The ERPs of 0.5-3.5 days old infants were measured while the infants were exposed to various musical chords in an Oddball test setup. Standard stimuli were major triad chords, deviant stimuli were minor, inverted major or dissonant triad chords. Results and conclusions. There was a difference in the ERPs on at least one electrode, caused by the deviant chords, compared to the ERPs caused by standard major chords. The discovered MMR polarities depended on chord types. The polarities differed from the results of an earlier study. Prolonged exposure to chords caused the ERP polarity to switch in the case of dissonant chords. There were some differences between groups formed by gender or the sleep stage, where the effect was seen with minor chords. However, clustering of babies based on their ERP polarity did not expand from one chord type to another. As some results were unexpected of even contrary to earlier results, more research is needed. Despite the remaining open questions, the main conclusions are that the cortices of newborn infants produce different ERPs depending on changing chord type, that there are large individual and small group level differences in this, and that a half an hour long expose to chord stimuli changes these ERPs.
  • Lavonius, Maria; Railo, Henry; Karlsson, Linnea; Wikström, Valtteri; Tuulari, Jetro J.; Scheinin, Noora M.; Paavonen, E. Juulia; Polo-Kantola, Paivi; Karlsson, Hasse; Huotilainen, Minna (2020)
    Poor maternal sleep quality during pregnancy may act as a prenatal stress factor for the fetus and associate with neonate neurocognition, for example via fetal programming. The impacts of worsened maternal sleep on neonatal development and, more specifically on neonatal auditory brain responses, have not been studied. A total of 155 mother-neonate dyads drawn from the FinnBrain Birth Cohort Study participated in our study including maternal self-report questionnaires on sleep at gestational week 24 and an event-related potential (ERP) measurement among 1-2-day-old neonates. For sleep quality assessment, the Basic Nordic Sleep Questionnaire (BNSQ) was used and calculated scores for (1) insomnia, (2) subjective sleep loss and (3) sleepiness were formed and applied in the analyses. In the auditory ERP protocol, three emotionally uttered pseudo words (in happy, angry and sad valence) were presented among neutrally uttered pseudo words. To study the relations between prenatal maternal sleep quality and auditory emotion-related ERP responses, mixed-effects regression models were computed for early (100-200 ms) and late (300-500 ms) ERP response time-windows. All of the selected BNSQ scores were associated with neonatal ERP responses for happy and angry emotion stimuli (sleep loss and sleepiness in the early, and insomnia, sleep loss and sleepiness in the late time-window). For sad stimuli, only maternal sleep loss predicted the neonatal ERP response in the late time-window, likely because the overall ERP was weakest in the sad condition. We conclude that maternal sleep quality during pregnancy is associated with changes in neonatal auditory ERP responses.
  • Linnavalli, Tanja; Putkinen, Vesa; Huotilainen, Minna; Tervaniemi, Mari (2018)
    The maturation of 5-6-year-old children's auditory discrimination - indicated by the development of the auditory event-related-potentials (ERPs) - has not been previously studied in longitudinal settings. For the first time, we present here the results based on extensive dataset collected from 75 children. We followed the 5- to 6-year-olds for 20 months and measured their ERPs four times with the same multifeature paradigm with phonemic stimuli. The amplitude of the mismatch negativity (MMN) response increased during this time for vowel, vowel duration and frequency changes. Furthermore, the P3a component started to mature toward adult-like positivity for the vowel, intensity and frequency deviants and the late discriminative negativity (LDN) component decreased with age for vowel and intensity deviants. All the changes in the components seemed to happen during the second follow-up year, when Finnish children are taught letter symbols and other preliminary academic skills before going to school at the age of seven. Therefore, further studies are needed to clarify if these changes in the auditory discrimination are purely age-related or due to increasing linguistic knowledge of the children.
  • Tiainen, Mikko; Tiippana, Kaisa; Paavilainen, Petri; Vainio, Martti; Vainio, Lari (2017)
    Manual actions and speech are connected: for example, grip execution can influence simultaneous vocalizations and vice versa. Our previous studies show that the consonant [k] is associated with the power grip and the consonant [t] with the precision grip. Here we studied whether the interaction between speech sounds and grips could operate already at a pre-attentive stage of auditory processing, reflected by the mismatch-negativity (MMN) component of the event-related potential (ERP). Participants executed power and precision grips according to visual cues while listening to syllable sequences consisting of [ke] and [te] utterances. The grips modulated the MMN amplitudes to these syllables in a systematic manner so that when the deviant was [ke], the MMN response was larger with a precision grip than with a power grip. There was a converse trend when the deviant was [te]. These results suggest that manual gestures and speech can interact already at a pre-attentive processing level of auditory perception, and show, for the first time that manual actions can systematically modulate the MMN. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Ojaniemi, Juuso (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    This study investigated the processing of morphologically complex words in early childhood. Words are morphologically complex if they consist of more than one morpheme, the minimal meaning-bearing units of language. Previous studies indicate that there are two distinct routes used in the processing of morphologically complex words. Some words are stored in memory holistically and processed through these full-form memory traces. Other words are decomposed into their constituent morphemes, with morphemes and rules guiding their use forming the basis of processing. Research with adults has indicated that derivations are processed through their full-form memory traces, while inflections are decomposed into their constituent morphemes. However, research on neural mechanisms of morphological processing in early childhood is still missing. This study aimed to investigate whether children process morphologically complex words in a similar fashion to adults. Twelve 3–4-year-old Finnish-speaking children with normal language development took part in the study. Event-related potentials were extracted from the 64-channel EEG data. The focus was on mismatch negativity (MMN), which is associated with, among other things, automatic processing of language. Activation of full-form memory traces and syntactic processing tend to elicit distinct patterns of MMN responses. Moreover, the MMN has recently been used to demonstrate differences between processing of derivations and inflections. Inflected pseudowords elicited stronger MMN responses than real inflected words. This pattern of MMN responses is typical of syntactic processing. Therefore, the results indicate that inflections were processed syntactically, via morphological decomposition. In contrast to previous studies with adults, no difference was observed between MMN responses to derivations and inflections. Overall, these results suggest that children process inflections but not derivations in an adult-like manner. This can be taken as evidence for early development of syntactic processing and slower, more experience-dependent development of full-form memory traces
  • Linnavalli, Tanja; Ojala, Juha; Haveri, Laura; Putkinen, Vesa; Kostilainen, Kaisamari; Seppänen, Sirke; Tervaniemi, Mari (2020)
    CONSONANCE AND DISSONANCE ARE BASIC phenomena in the perception of chords that can be discriminated very early in sensory processing. Musical expertise has been shown to facilitate neural processing of various musical stimuli, but it is unclear whether this applies to detecting consonance and dissonance. Our study aimed to determine if sensitivity to increasing levels of dissonance differs between musicians and nonmusicians, using a combination of neural (electroencephalographic mismatch negativity, MMN) and behavioral measurements (conscious discrimination). Furthermore, we wanted to see if focusing attention to the sounds modulated the neural processing. We used chords comprised of either highly consonant or highly dissonant intervals and further manipulated the degree of dissonance to create two levels of dissonant chords. Both groups discriminated dissonant chords from consonant ones neurally and behaviorally. The magnitude of the MMN differed only marginally between the more dissonant and the less dissonant chords. The musicians outperformed the nonmusicians in the behavioral task. As the dissonant chords elicited MMN responses for both groups, sensory dissonance seems to be discriminated in an early sensory level, irrespective of musical expertise, and the facilitating effects of musicianship for this discrimination may arise in later stages of auditory processing, appearing only in the behavioral auditory task.
  • Virtala, Paula; Partanen, Eino; Tervaniemi, Mari; Kujala, Teija (2018)
    To process complex stimuli like language, our auditory system must tolerate large acoustic variance, like speaker variability, and still be sensitive enough to discriminate between phonemes and to detect complex sound relationships in, e.g., prosodic cues. Our study determined discrimination of speech sounds in input mimicking natural speech variability, and detection of deviations in regular pitch relationships (rule violations) between speech sounds. We investigated the automaticity and the influence of attention and explicit awareness on these changes by recording the neurophysiological mismatch negativity (MMN) and P3a as well as task performance from 21 adults. The results showed neural discrimination of phonemes and rule violations as indicated by MMN and P3a, regardless of whether the sounds were attended or not, even when participants could not explicitly describe the rule. While small sample size precluded statistical analysis of some outcomes, we still found preliminary associations between the MMN amplitudes, task performance, and emerging explicit awareness of the rule. Our results highlight the automaticity of processing complex aspects of speech as a basis for the emerging conscious perception and explicit awareness of speech properties. While MMN operates at the implicit processing level, P3a appears to work at the borderline of implicit and explicit.
  • Putkinen, Vesa; Huotilainen, Minna; Tervaniemi, Mari (2019)
    Musical training in childhood has been linked to enhanced sound encoding at different stages of the auditory processing. In the current study, we used auditory event-related potentials to investigate cortical sound processing in 9- to 15-year-old children (N = 88) with and without musical training. Specifically, we recorded the mismatch negativity (MMN) and P3a responses in an oddball paradigm consisting of standard tone pairs with ascending pitch and deviant tone pairs with descending pitch. A subsample of the children (N = 44) also completed a standardized test of reading ability. The musically trained children showed a larger P3a response to the deviant sound pairs. Furthermore, the amplitude of the P3a correlated with a pseudo-word reading test score. These results corroborate previous findings on enhanced sound encoding in musically trained children and are in line with studies suggesting that neural discrimination of spectrotemporal sound patterns is predictive of reading ability.
  • Zora, Hatice; Riad, Tomas; Ylinen, Sari; Csepe, Valeria (2021)
    Dealing with phonological variations is important for speech processing. This article addresses whether phonological variations introduced by assimilatory processes are compensated for at the pre-lexical or lexical level, and whether the nature of variation and the phonological context influence this process. To this end, Swedish nasal regressive place assimilation was investigated using the mismatch negativity (MMN) component. In nasal regressive assimilation, the coronal nasal assimilates to the place of articulation of a following segment, most clearly with a velar or labial place of articulation, as in utan mej "without me" > [MODIFIER LETTER TRIANGULAR COLONtam mejMODIFIER LETTER TRIANGULAR COLON]. In a passive auditory oddball paradigm, 15 Swedish speakers were presented with Swedish phrases with attested and unattested phonological variations and contexts for nasal assimilation. Attested variations - a coronal-to-labial change as in utan "without" > [MODIFIER LETTER TRIANGULAR COLONtam] - were contrasted with unattested variations - a labial-to-coronal change as in utom "except" > *[MODIFIER LETTER TRIANGULAR COLONtLATIN SMALL LETTER OPEN On] - in appropriate and inappropriate contexts created by mej "me" [mejMODIFIER LETTER TRIANGULAR COLON] and dej "you" [dejMODIFIER LETTER TRIANGULAR COLON]. Given that the MMN amplitude depends on the degree of variation between two stimuli, the MMN responses were expected to indicate to what extent the distance between variants was tolerated by the perceptual system. Since the MMN response reflects not only low-level acoustic processing but also higher-level linguistic processes, the results were predicted to indicate whether listeners process assimilation at the pre-lexical and lexical levels. The results indicated no significant interactions across variations, suggesting that variations in phonological forms do not incur any cost in lexical retrieval; hence such variation is compensated for at the lexical level. However, since the MMN response reached significance only for a labial-to-coronal change in a labial context and for a coronal-to-labial change in a coronal context, the compensation might have been influenced by the nature of variation and the phonological context. It is therefore concluded that while assimilation is compensated for at the lexical level, there is also some influence from pre-lexical processing. The present results reveal not only signal-based perception of phonological units, but also higher-level lexical processing, and are thus able to reconcile the bottom-up and top-down models of speech processing.
  • Sund, Marie (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    Aim of study. The aim of this study was to determine how the processing of pitch cues in spoken words is affected by listeners' native language. In previous studies, listeners' have shown a better sensitivity to acoustic features that are linguistically relevant in the native language. It has also been shown that the processing of pitch information is lateralized to the left hemisphere when the information is linguistically distinctive and lateralized to the right hemisphere when it is not carrying linguistically relevant information. The processing of lexical pitch has been shown to be language specific. Pitch is lexically discriminating in Estonian, but not in Finnish. Therefore, native speakers of Estonian were hypothesized to show a better sensitivity to changes in pitch than the native speakers of Finnish. They were also hypothesized to show a lateralization to the left when processing linguistically discriminating changes in pitch. Methods. 12 native speakers of Estonian and 12 native speakers of Finnish participated in the study. Mismatch negativity (MMN) components of event-related potentials (ERP) were measured with electroencephalography (EEG). Stimuli consisted of Estonian words, which showed differences in duration and pitch. Results and conclusions. Scalp maps of neural activation suggested a larger sensitivity for small changes in pitch for the Estonian group, as well as a tendency towards lateralization of the processing of pitch cues to the left hemisphere for the Estonian group, and to the right for the Finnish group. These observations were supported by a significant interaction effect between language group, lateralization, and stimulus type. However, further pairwise comparisons were only marginally significant. Due to large variation in the Estonian group, the group was split based on geographical background information, since the use of pitch cue has been shown to vary regionally in Estonia. This analysis indicated regional variation in the processing of the pitch cue; the western Estonian group showed lateralization to the left hemisphere while processing stimuli with a small change in pitch. The findings of this study are in line with previous studies, showing that the native language affects the processing of pitch. It also suggests that the local language variety has an impact on these processes.
  • Siikjärvi, Ella (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Objectives. The aim of this study was to examine with electroencephalography (EEG) the associations between speech-sound elicited mismatch negativity (MMN) and late discriminative negativity (LDN) and pre-reading skills. Exploring the neural base of pre-reading skills will benefit the development of interventions for reading difficulties. It was hypothesized that left-lateralized MMNs and LDNs are elicited by all changes and larger and left-lateralized responses are linked with better pre-reading skills. Children with dyslexia risk were assumed to have poorer pre-reading skills and their responses were assumed to be smaller and more right-lateralized than in controls. Methods. Twenty-three children (of whom 16 with dyslexia risk) participated in an assessment of language abilities and EEG recording around the age of four years seven months. MMN and LDN were recorded for vowel, phoneme duration and frequency changes occurring in the second syllable of the standard stimulus (/tata/). The Repeated-measures analyses of covariance and the correlation analyses were applied to examine the relationship between MMN and LDN amplitudes, scalp distributions and phonological awareness, rapid automatized naming (RAN), verbal short-term memory, letter knowledge and a parent’s evaluation of pre-reading skills. The effects of risk status on MMN and LDN responses and pre-reading skills were investigated with the Repeated-measures and the One-way analyses of variance. Results. MMNs in the right hemisphere for consonant duration and vowel change and LDNs for all changes were statistically significant. LDN for vowel duration change was associated with RAN, and LDN for large frequency change was associated with letter knowledge so that the responses were larger in children performing better. LDN for vowel change was larger in children with poor letter knowledge and RAN, and LDN for small frequency change was larger in children performing poorly in RAN. Children performing poorly in RAN had right-lateralized MMNs, whereas children performing better had larger amplitudes mainly in the left hemisphere. Dyslexia risk had no effect on MMNs, LDNs or pre-reading skills. Conclusions. Right-lateralized speech processing and possibly also difficulties of discriminating vowel and frequency changes are associated with poor reading skills. Strengthening the ability to discriminate and manipulate phonemes may be important when supporting reading skills, however this should be investigated with an intervention study.
  • Kostilainen, Kaisamari; Partanen, Eino; Mikkola, Kaija; Wikström, Valtteri; Pakarinen, Satu; Fellman, Vineta; Huotilainen, Minna (2021)
    Preterm birth carries a risk for adverse neurodevelopment. Cognitive dysfunctions, such as language disorders may manifest as atypical sound discrimination already in early infancy. As infant-directed singing has been shown to enhance language acquisition in infants, we examined whether parental singing during skin-to-skin care (kangaroo care) improves speech sound discrimination in preterm infants. Forty-five preterm infants born between 26 and 33 gestational weeks (GW) and their parents participated in this cluster-randomized controlled trial ( ID IRB00003181SK). In both groups, parents conducted kangaroo care during 33-40 GW. In the singing intervention group (n = 24), a certified music therapist guided parents to sing or hum during daily kangaroo care. In the control group (n = 21), parents conducted standard kangaroo care and were not instructed to use their voices. Parents in both groups reported the duration of daily intervention. Auditory event-related potentials were recorded with electroencephalogram at term age using a multi-feature paradigm consisting of phonetic and emotional speech sound changes and a one-deviant oddball paradigm with pure tones. In the multi-feature paradigm, prominent mismatch responses (MMR) were elicited to the emotional sounds and many of the phonetic deviants in the singing intervention group and in the control group to some of the emotional and phonetic deviants. A group difference was found as the MMRs were larger in the singing intervention group, mainly due to larger MMRs being elicited to the emotional sounds, especially in females. The overall duration of the singing intervention (range 15-63 days) was positively associated with the MMR amplitudes for both phonetic and emotional stimuli in both sexes, unlike the daily singing time (range 8-120 min/day). In the oddball paradigm, MMRs for the non-speech sounds were elicited in both groups and no group differences nor connections between the singing time and the response amplitudes were found. These results imply that repeated parental singing during kangaroo care improved auditory discrimination of phonetic and emotional speech sounds in preterm infants at term age. Regular singing routines can be recommended for parents to promote the development of the auditory system and auditory processing of speech sounds in preterm infants.
  • Oja, Lea (Helsingfors universitet, 2005)
    Abnormal involuntary attention may lead to enhanced distractibility and has been proposed to be an underlying factor for cognitive problems in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In the present experiment, involuntary attention switching of 6–11-year-old ADHD and healthy children performing an auditory discrimination task was compared. Deterioration of task performance and event-related brain potentials (ERP) to distracting sounds associated with attention switching, were considered as measures of distractibility. During the experiment the children performed an auditory discrimination task in which they were instructed to differentiate two animal sounds from each other. In the task-related sounds presented from loudspeakers in front of the child there were occasional task-irrelevant changes in the sound location. In addition, novel sounds completely unrelated to the task were presented from behind. The hypothesis of the present study was that the ADHD children would get more distracted than the control children as a consequence of the deviance in the direction of the task-related sound and after an occurrence of a task-irrelevant novel sound. The performance of the ADHD group was highly variable. The task-irrelevant novel sounds prolonged the reaction times, decreased the accuracy, and increased the number of omitted responses in the ADHD group more than in the control group. In addition, abnormalities in the ERPs suggest that the ADHD group was more distracted than the control group by the deviances in the task-related sounds and by the novel sounds and that the ADHD group processes the sounds partly in different brain regions than the control group. To understand these regional and functional abnormalities in more detail, additional research is required.
  • Hiltunen, Seppo; Virta, Maarit; Kallio, Sakari; Paavilainen, Petri (2019)
    The neural mechanisms associated with hypnosis were investigated in a group of 9 high hypnotizable subjects by measuring the mismatch negativity (MMN) component of the auditory event-related potential (ERP). ERPs were recorded using a passive oddball paradigm to sinusoidal standard and deviant tone stimuli of 500 and 520 Hz, respectively, in four conditions: prehypnosis, neutral hypnosis, hypnotic suggestion for altering the tone perception, and posthypnotic conditions. Earlier studies have indicated that hypnosis and hypnotic suggestions might have an effect on MMN, but the results of our study contradict these results: No statistically significant differences were found between the conditions in the MMN amplitudes.
  • Lehtinen, Aija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Objective: According to previous studies mood can affect several higher cognitive skills. Positive mood helps performing in several cognitive processes. However, implicit mechanisms of learning have not yet been studied. The current study examined effects of positive and negative mood on neural mechanisms of auditory learning. Event-related potentials (ERPs), especially mismatch negativity (MMN), were recorded in both mood states. MMNs were expected to be more negative in positive mood state which would reflect better learning of auditory similarities in positive mood state. Methods: Positive and negative mood was induced in a counterbalances order to all subjects with self-chosen music and congruent Velten-sentences. Induced mood was measured using POMS-A-questionnaire. Subjects were instructed to direct their attention to a silent movie while musical stream was played through earphones. Responses on deviants appearing on the musical stream were recorded. Subjects were divided into two groups. One group started with positive mood induction followed by negative mood induction and the other group did vice versa. Induced mood was mild and only lasted for a short period of time. Experiment ended up with positive mood induction for both groups. Differences in ERPs between positive and negative mood was analyzed with repeated-measures ANOVA. Results and conclusions: There was a significant difference in ERPs between positive and negative mood. Especially the ERPs for deviants were more negative in the negative mood than in the positive mood in the posterior medial parts of the scalp. Hence, mood affected processing of deviant tones. This refers to effect of mood on learning of similarities in auditory sequencies.