We are developing a computer-aided detection (CAD) system to detect microcalcification clusters automatically on full field digital mammograms (FFDMs). The CAD system includes five stages: preprocessing, image enhancement and/or box-rim filtering, segmentation of microcalcification candidates, false positive (FP) reduction, and clustering. In this study, we investigated the performance of a nonlinear multiscale Laplacian pyramid enhancement method in comparison with a box-rim filter at the image enhancement stage and the use of a new error metric to improve the efficiency and robustness of the training of a convolution neural network (CNN) at the FP reduction stage of our CAD system. A data set of 96 cases with 200 images was collected at the University of Michigan. This data set contained 215 microcalcification clusters, of which 64 clusters were proven by biopsy to be malignant and 151 were proven to be benign. The data set was separated into two independent data sets. One data set was used to train and validate the CNN in our CAD system. The other data set was used to evaluate the detection performance. For this data set, Laplacian pyramid multiscale enhancement did not improve the performance of the microcalcification detection system in comparison with our box-rim filter previously optimized for digitized screen-film mammograms. With the new error metric, the training of CNN could be accelerated and the classification performance in validation was improved from an Az value of 0.94 to 0.97 on average. The CNN in combination with rule-based classifiers could reduce FPs with a small tradeoff in sensitivity. By using the free-response receiver operating characteristic (FROC) methodology, it was found that our CAD system can achieve a cluster-based sensitivity of 70%, 80%, and 88% at 0.23, 0.39, and 0.71 FP marks/image, respectively. For case-based performance evaluation, a sensitivity of 80%, 90%, and 98% can be achieved at 0.17, 0.27, and 0.51 FP marks/image, respectively.