Jongsma, M.L.A., Eichele, T., Quian Quiroga, R., Jenks, K.M., Desain, P., Honing, H. and van Rijn, C.M. (2005). The effect of expectancy on omission evoked potentials (OEPs) in musicians and non-musicians. Psychophysiology. 42 (2), 191-201.


An expanded omitted stimulus paradigm was investigated to determine whether expectancy would modulate the amplitude of the omission evoked potentials (OEPs). In addition, we examined the effects of musical expertise on OEPs. Trials started with 37 beats randomly and contained 5 omitted beats. Three types of trials (n=90) were presented with 1, 2, or 3 beats occurring between omissions. A tap response at the end of each trial was used to determine timing accuracy. Clear OEPs were observed over midline sites. We found main omission effects with respect to an N150 and a P400 OEPs component, such that peak amplitudes diminished whenever the occurrence of an omitted stimulus could be expected. In addition, an N600 OEPs component emerged in response to expectedly omitted stimuli toward the end of each trial within the group of musicians. Thus, musical training seems to lead to more efficient and more refined processing of auditory temporal patterns.