Test–retest reliability of mismatch negativity (MMN) to emotional voices

Chenyi Chen, Chia Wen Chan, Yawei Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


A voice from kin species conveys indispensable social and affective signals with uniquely phylogenetic and ontogenetic standpoints. However, the neural underpinning of emotional voices, beyond low-level acoustic features, activates a processing chain that proceeds from the auditory pathway to the brain structures implicated in cognition and emotion. By using a passive auditory oddball paradigm, which employs emotional voices, this study investigates the test–retest reliability of emotional mismatch negativity (MMN), indicating that the deviants of positively (happily)- and negatively (angrily)-spoken syllables, as compared to neutral standards, can trigger MMN as a response to an automatic discrimination of emotional salience. The neurophysiological estimates of MMN to positive and negative deviants appear to be highly reproducible, irrespective of the subject’s attentional disposition: whether the subjects are set to a condition that involves watching a silent movie or do a working memory task. Specifically, negativity bias is evinced as threatening, relative to positive vocalizations, consistently inducing larger MMN amplitudes, regardless of the day and the time of a day. The present findings provide evidence to support the fact that emotional MMN offers a stable platform to detect subtle changes in current emotional shifts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number453
Pages (from-to)453
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - Nov 15 2018


  • Attention disposition
  • Circadian sessions
  • Emotional voice
  • Mismatch negativity
  • Test–retest reliability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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