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Matthias Niemeier

Crossmodal binding through neural coherence implications for multisensory processing Daniel Senkowski Till R Schneider John J Foxe and Andreas K Engel Coherence of oscillatory neural signals might be an essential mechanism supporting multisensory perceptioncoupled oscillatory activity might serve to link neural signals across uni and multisensory regions and to express the degree of crossmodal matching of stimulusrelated informationvast number of cortical operations including those carried out by primary regions are shaped by inputs from multiple sensory modalitiesmultisensory processing in the superior temporal sulcus the intraparietal sulcus and frontal regions as well as insula and claustrumevidence that neurons in areas formerly considered as unisensory like such as auditory belt areas can also exhibit multisensory characteristicsnumerous subcortical structures are involved in multisensory processingincludes superior colliculus SC striatum cerebellum amygdala and nuclei of thalamusfeedforward convergence of unimodeal signals as primary mechanism for multisensory integrationnow evidence that both feedbacklateral interactions also relevantcomplex dynamic interactions of cell popns which lead to oscillatory firing patternsmay play key role in mediating crosssystems integration in brain o synchronized oscillations might provide pot Mechanism for crossmodal integrationfor selection of info that matches across diff sensory channelsViews on crossmodal integrationclassical view multisensory integration occurs in a hierarchical manner by progressive convergence of pathwayssensory signals are merged only in higher association areas and specializedsubcortical regions perceptual information is primarily encoded in the firing rate of the cells involvedMultisensory integration expressed by firing rate changes in neural populations receiving convergent inputs from different modalitiesResponse properties of such neurons are typically characterized by multisensory enhancement or suppressionresponses to multisesnory stimulation are larger or smaller than those to most effective unisensory stimuliPure convergence model may not be sufficient to account for ALL aspects of multisensory processing o ReasonsStrong crossmodal interactionsmodulation already occurs in primary corticesdifficult to reconcile with notion of hierarchical convergenceConvergence scenario not flexible enough to allow rapid recombination of crossmodal signals into completely novel perceptsFeedforward convergence model doesnt explain how lowlevel info abt objects can remain accessible bc highlevel representation is noncompositionaldoesnt explicitly make ref to elementary features in both animals and humansshown that synchronized oscillatory activity in various frequency bands is related to a large set of cognitive and sensorimotor functions Box 1Box 1 Functional significance of oscillatory activityOngoing intrinsic and eventrelated oscillations are usually categorized into five frequency bands delta 0535 Hz o Oscillatory activity in the delta band has been related to motivational processes and the brain reward system and is the predominant brain rhythm during deep sleep
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