Research with the mismatch negativity component of event-related potentials has uncovered a system that detects change in the acoustic environment on an automatic basis. The system is considered to compare incoming stimuli to representations of the past and to emit an MMN if change is detected. Previous investigations have shown that the relevant memory of the past can become dormant and then be reactivated by a reminder stimulus. It is unclear, however, whether what is reactivated is an holistic representation of stimuli or separate representations of features of stimuli. The present study provides data that supports the latter possibility but leaves open the former one.

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