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Brain Res. 2008 Nov 25;1242:283-90. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2008.03.090. Epub 2008 Apr 13.

Multisensory integration in children: a preliminary ERP study.

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  • 1Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation, Greenwood Village, CO 80111, USA.


The spatio-temporal scalp distribution of multisensory auditory-somatosensory integration was investigated in typically developing children ages 6-13. Event-related potentials were recorded from 32 scalp electrodes while participants watched a silent cartoon. Three types of sensory stimulation were presented pseudo-randomly: auditory clicks, somatosensory median nerve electrical pulses, or simultaneous auditory and somatosensory stimuli. No behavioral responses were required of the participant. To examine integration, responses to simultaneous auditory and somatosensory stimulation were compared to the sum of unisensory auditory plus unisensory somatosensory responses for four time-windows: (60-80 ms, 80-110 ms, 110-150 ms and 180-220 ms). Results indicated significant multisensory integration occurred in central/post-central scalp regions between 60-80 ms in the hemisphere contralateral to the side of somatosensory stimulation and between 110-150 ms in the hemisphere ipsilateral to the side of somatosensory stimulation. Between 180-220 ms, significant multisensory integration was evident in central/post-central regions in both hemispheres as well as midline scalp regions. This study suggests that children exhibit differential processing of multisensory compared to unisensory stimuli, as has previously been reported in adults.

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