The 9th Mismatch Negativity conference（MMN2022）
Venue CORASSE in Fukushima
President Professor Hirooki Yabe, Department of Neuropsychiatry,
School of Medicine, Fukushima Medical University
September 21(Wed) - 23(Fri), 2022
The 9th Mismatch Negativity conference（MMN 2022）will be held at the CORASSE in Fukushima for three days, September 21–23, 2022. It will be the first time the MMN meeting will be held in Japan. It is a great honor to be hosting this conference, and I would like to sincerely thank all the members and others involved for their support.
Human brain has developed the defensive system in audition to survive in the primeval forest. The automatic change-detection system enables us to find the incoming sound-changes of warning even during the meal. This brain system has been revealed by investigating the mismatch negativity (MMN) which Professor Risto Näätänen discovered in 1978. MMN is generated by the comparison process between sound change and the memory trace of the preceding sounds stored in sensory memory of the brain. This “memory trace theory” has been supported by a large amount of researches. The MMN can be automatically elicited by various types of sound changes, such as change of frequency, intensity, duration, spatial location, phonetic change, and even a stimulus omission (provided that omission is locked in 170 ms duration stimulus). The main generator of MMN is located in the vicinity of the primary auditory cortex as demonstrated by magnetoencephalographic (MEG) studies and electroencephalographic (EEG) studies in humans, electrical recording in cats, and monkeys. Recently, MMN is expected to be one of the promising neurophysiological bio-markers in schizophrenia, because the impaired MMN reflects the cognitive decline and/or psychosocial impairment in the patients with schizophrenia. Most importantly, MMN might provide the prediction of conversion to psychosis when the duration MMN was recorded in clinically at risk-mental state (ARMS) individuals. The MMN 2022 conference is the platform for recent and highly influential findings in basic and applied research related to MMN.
Now I would like to introduce Fukushima Medical University (FMU) and Fukushima Prefecture. FMU has its origins in Fukushima Prefectural Women's Medical College, which was established in 1944. FMU Hospital has a much older history; it has its roots in Shirakawa Temporary Hospital, established in 1871. FMU is now a comprehensive medical university with a school of medicine, nursing, and health science (physical therapy, occupational therapy, radiology, and clinical laboratory study).
Fukushima Prefecture boasts of being the third-largest area in Japan, and is known for its magnificent display of nature, delicious food, and warm people. Fukushima is roughly divided into three areas: Aizu, Nakadori, and Hamadori.
As is well known, the big earthquake and the nuclear powerplant accident occurred on March 11, 2011. Fukushima was one of the worst-affected prefectures, but over the last few years, has taken bold steps towards prefecture-wide revitalization helped by the resilience and courage of its people.
The 9th MMN conference was originally scheduled for 2021; however, due to COVID-19 and the new coronavirus variants, we postponed the conference to 2022. The fight against COVID-19 is very tough, but I hope the pandemic will end in 2022 as huge efforts are being made to get the entire Japanese population vaccinated.
I am looking forward to meeting many researchers of MMN in Fukushima and wish the success of the MMN conference.
Hirooki Yabe, President
Department of Neuropsychiatry
School of Medicine
Fukushima Medical University