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Brain Res Cogn Brain Res. 2002 Jun;14(1):187-98.

The timing and laminar profile of converging inputs to multisensory areas of the macaque neocortex.

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Cognitive Neuroscience and Schizophrenia Program, Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, 140 Old Orangeburg Rd., Bldg. 37, Orangeburg, NY 10962, USA.


Two fundamental requirements for multisensory integration are convergence of unisensory (e.g. visual and auditory) inputs and temporal alignment of the neural responses to convergent inputs. We investigated the anatomic mechanisms of multisensory convergence by examining three areas in which convergence occurs, posterior auditory association cortex, superior temporal polysensory area (STP) and ventral intraparietal sulcus area (VIP). The first of these was recently shown to be a site of multisensory convergence and the latter two are more well known as 'classic' multisensory regions. In each case, we focused on defining the laminar profile of response to the unisensory inputs. This information is useful because two major types of connection, feedforward and feedback, have characteristic differences in laminar termination patterns, which manifest physiologically. In the same multisensory convergence areas we also examined the timing of the unisensory inputs using the same standardized stimuli across all recordings. Our findings indicate that: (1) like somatosensory input [J. Neurophysiol., 85 (2001) 1322], visual input is available at very early stages of auditory processing, (2) convergence occurs through feedback, as well as feedforward anatomical projections and (3) input timing may be an asset, as well as a constraint in multisensory processing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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