Latent inhibition mediates N1 attenuation to repeating sounds

Jeffrey J. Sable, Kathy A. Low, Edward L. Maclin, Monica Fabiani, Gabriele Gratton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sound repetition typically reduces auditory N1 amplitudes, more so at higher rates. This has been attributed to refractoriness of N1 generators. However, evidence that N1 attenuation is delayed 300-400 ms after the first occurrence of a repeated sound suggests an alternative process, such as inhibition, that requires 300-400 ms to become fully operational. We examined the N1 to trains of fixed-interval (100, 200, 300, 400 ms) tones for evidence of effects predicted by models of refractoriness and of latent inhibition. Regardless of interval, latency of the eliciting tone from train onset determined N1 amplitudes during the first 400 ms of the train, which decreased in this window. The results show that N1 attenuation cannot be due simply to refractoriness, which would elicit the smallest N1 to the second tone. An inhibitory neural circuit can account for these and previous results, and may be important to auditory perceptual processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)636-642
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2004


  • Auditory cortex
  • Auditory evoked potentials
  • Event-related brain potentials
  • Inhibition
  • N1 or N100
  • Refractoriness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry


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