Visual mismatch response and fMRI signal adaptation correlate in the occipital-temporal cortex

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Several electrophysiological studies found response differences to a given stimulus when it is repeated frequently as compared to when it occurs rarely in oddball sequences. Initially defined in acoustic perception, such difference also exists in the visual modality and is referred to as visual mismatch negativity (vMMN). However, the repetition of a stimulus also leads to the reduction of the blood oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal (fMRI adaptation, fMRIa) when compared to alternating stimuli in fMRI experiments. So far no study compared the vMMN to fMRIa within the same paradigm and participants. Here we tested the possible connection between fMRIa and vMMN in a visual oddball paradigm in two separate sessions, acquiring electrophysiological and neuroimaging data for real and false characters from the same participants. We found significant visual mismatch response (vMM) as well as fMRIa for both character types. Importantly, the magnitude of the vMM over the CP1 electrode cluster showed a significant correlation with the fMRIa within the letter form area, for real characters. This finding suggests that similar neural mechanisms are responsible for the two phenomena.

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