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Spatial and Temporal Features of Multisensory Processes: Bridging Animal and Human Studies.


In: Murray MM, Wallace MT, editors.


The Neural Bases of Multisensory Processes. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press; 2012. Chapter 11.
Frontiers in Neuroscience.


Along with these behavioral examples, there are myriad perceptual illustrations of the power of multisensory interactions. For example, the intensity of a light is perceived as greater when presented with a sound (Stein et al. 1996) and judgments of stimulus features such as speed and orientation are often more accurate when combined with information available from another sense (Soto-Faraco et al. 2003; Manabe and Riquimaroux 2000; Clark and Graybiel 1966; Wade and Day 1968). One of the most compelling examples of multisensory-mediated perceptual gains can be seen in the speech realm, where the intelligibility of a spoken signal can be greatly enhanced when the listener can see the speaker’s face (Sumby and Pollack 1954). In fact, this bimodal gain may be a principal factor in the improvements in speech comprehension seen in those with significant hearing loss after visual training (Schorr et al. 2005; Rouger et al. 2007). Regardless of whether the benefits are seen in the behavioral or perceptual domains, they typically exceed those that are predicted on the basis of responses to each of the component unisensory stimuli (Hughes et al. 1994, 1998; Corneil and Munoz 1996; Harrington and Peck 1998). Such deviations from simple additive models provide important insights into the neural bases for these multisensory interactions in that they strongly argue for a convergence and active integration of the different sensory inputs within the brain.

Copyright © 2012 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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