Latency of evoked neuromagnetic M100 reflects perceptual and acoustic stimulus attributes

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THE latency of components of the auditory evoked neuromagnetic field has been shown to reflect, or encode, stimulus attributes. In particular, the M100 component, occurring ∼100 ms post stimulus onset has a latency that depends on stimulus pitch, spectral complexity and presentation level. This study used magnetoencephalography to record neuromagnetic fields evoked by presentation of two-tone complexes consisting of various proportions of 100 Hz and 1 kHz energy. These are perceived categorically, as evidenced by classification and reaction time measurements. It is found that the M100 latency also varies categorically, that is, characterized by two plateau regions with a sharp interface. Thus, we find that not only does the M100 latency reflect acoustic attributes of a stimulus, but also such perceptual characteristics.

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