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Nat Neurosci. 2008 Oct;11(10):1201-10. doi: 10.1038/nn.2191. Epub 2008 Sep 7.

Neural correlates of multisensory cue integration in macaque MSTd.

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Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


Human observers combine multiple sensory cues synergistically to achieve greater perceptual sensitivity, but little is known about the underlying neuronal mechanisms. We recorded the activity of neurons in the dorsal medial superior temporal (MSTd) area during a task in which trained monkeys combined visual and vestibular cues near-optimally to discriminate heading. During bimodal stimulation, MSTd neurons combined visual and vestibular inputs linearly with subadditive weights. Neurons with congruent heading preferences for visual and vestibular stimuli showed improvements in sensitivity that parallel behavioral effects. In contrast, neurons with opposite preferences showed diminished sensitivity under cue combination. Responses of congruent cells were more strongly correlated with monkeys' perceptual decisions than were responses of opposite cells, suggesting that the monkey monitored the activity of congruent cells to a greater extent during cue integration. These findings show that perceptual cue integration occurs in nonhuman primates and identify a population of neurons that may form its neural basis.

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