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Trait and State Anxiety Effects on Mismatch Negativity and Sensory Gating Event-Related Potentials

Ioakeimidis, V., Lennuyeux-Comnene, L., Khachatoorian, N. , Gaigg, S. B. ORCID: 0000-0003-2644-7145, Haenschel, C. ORCID: 0000-0001-7855-2735, Kyriakopoulos, M. & Dima, D. ORCID: 0000-0002-2598-0952 (2023). Trait and State Anxiety Effects on Mismatch Negativity and Sensory Gating Event-Related Potentials. Brain Sciences, 13(10), article number 1421. doi: 10.3390/brainsci13101421


We used the auditory roving oddball to investigate whether individual differences in self-reported anxiety influence event-related potential (ERP) activity related to sensory gating and mismatch negativity (MMN). The state-trait anxiety inventory (STAI) was used to assess the effects of anxiety on the ERPs for auditory change detection and information filtering in a sample of thirty-six healthy participants. The roving oddball paradigm involves presentation of stimulus trains of auditory tones with certain frequencies followed by trains of tones with different frequencies. Enhanced negative mid-latency response (130–230 ms post-stimulus) was marked at the deviant (first tone) and the standard (six or more repetitions) tone at Fz, indicating successful mismatch negativity (MMN). In turn, the first and second tone in a stimulus train were subject to sensory gating at the Cz electrode site as a response to the second stimulus was suppressed at an earlier latency (40–80 ms). We used partial correlations and analyses of covariance to investigate the influence of state and trait anxiety on these two processes. Higher trait anxiety exhibited enhanced MMN amplitude (more negative) (F(1,33) = 14.259, p = 6.323 × 10−6, ηp2 = 0.302), whereas state anxiety reduced sensory gating (F(1,30) = 13.117, p = 0.001, ηp2 = 0.304). Our findings suggest that high trait-anxious participants demonstrate hypervigilant change detection to deviant tones that appear more salient, whereas increased state anxiety associates with failure to filter out irrelevant stimuli.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Publisher Keywords: attention; salience; predictive coding; change detection; inhibition
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
SWORD Depositor:
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