COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE AND NEUROPSYCHOLOGYEvent-related potential responses to metric violations: rules versus meaningRothermich, Kathrina; Schmidt-Kassow, Marenb; Schwartze, Michaela; Kotz, Sonja A.a Author Information aMPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, IRG Neurocognition of Rhythm in Communication, Leipzig bInstitute for Medical Psychology, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, Germany Correspondence to Kathrin Rothermich, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, IRG Neurocognition of Rhythm in Communication, Stephanstrasse 1a, 04103 Leipzig, Germany Tel: +49 341 99402472; fax: +49 341 9940113; e-mail: [email protected] Received 11 March 2010 accepted 31 March 2010 NeuroReport: June 2, 2010 - Volume 21 - Issue 8 - p 580-584 doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e32833a7da7 Buy Metrics Abstract In stress-timed languages, the alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables (or ‘meter’) is an important formal and temporal cue to guide speech processing. Previous electroencephalography studies have shown that metric violations result in an early negative event-related potential. It is unclear whether this ‘metric’ negativity is an N400 elicited by misplaced stress or whether it responds to error detection. The aim of this study was to investigate the nature of the ‘metric’ negativity as a function of rule-based, predictive sequencing. Our results show that the negativity occurs independent of the lexical-semantic content. We therefore suggest that the metric negativity reflects a rule-based sequencing mechanism. © 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.