The magnetic equivalent (MMNm) of mismatch negativity may reflect auditory discrimination and sensory memory. To study whether temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) affects automatic central auditory-change processing, we recorded magnetoencephalographic (MEG) responses to standard and duration-deviant sounds in 12 TLE patients and 12 age-matched controls, and repeated MEG measurement in 8 patients 6-30 months following epilepsy surgery and in 6 controls 3-8 months after their first measurement. We compared the MMNm between patients and controls, and also evaluated intertrial phase coherences as indexed by phase-locking factors (PLF) using wavelet-based analyses. We observed longer MMNm latencies for patients than for controls. Dipole modeling and minimum-current estimates together showed bi-frontotemporal sources for MMNm. The phase locking across trials was dominant at the 4- to 14-Hz band, and the main difference in PLF between deviant- and standard-evoked responses occurred in the time frame of 150-250 ms after stimulus onset. Notably, in the 5 patients who became seizure free after removal of right temporal epileptic focus, the phase-locking phenomena resulting from deviant stimuli were enhanced, and even more distributed in the frontotemporal regions. We conclude that mesial TLE might affect auditory-change detection, and a successful surgery causes a possible plastic change in phase locking of deviant-evoked signals.
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