Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Front Syst Neurosci. 2008 Mar 28;1:2. doi: 10.3389/neuro.06.002.2007. eCollection 2007.

Category-specific responses to faces and objects in primate auditory cortex.

Author information

  • 1Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics Tübingen, Germany.


Auditory and visual signals often occur together, and the two sensory channels are known to influence each other to facilitate perception. The neural basis of this integration is not well understood, although other forms of multisensory influences have been shown to occur at surprisingly early stages of processing in cortex. Primary visual cortex neurons can show frequency-tuning to auditory stimuli, and auditory cortex responds selectively to certain somatosensory stimuli, supporting the possibility that complex visual signals may modulate early stages of auditory processing. To elucidate which auditory regions, if any, are responsive to complex visual stimuli, we recorded from auditory cortex and the superior temporal sulcus while presenting visual stimuli consisting of various objects, neutral faces, and facial expressions generated during vocalization. Both objects and conspecific faces elicited robust field potential responses in auditory cortex sites, but the responses varied by category: both neutral and vocalizing faces had a highly consistent negative component (N100) followed by a broader positive component (P180) whereas object responses were more variable in time and shape, but could be discriminated consistently from the responses to faces. The face response did not vary within the face category, i.e., for expressive vs. neutral face stimuli. The presence of responses for both objects and neutral faces suggests that auditory cortex receives highly informative visual input that is not restricted to those stimuli associated with auditory components. These results reveal selectivity for complex visual stimuli in a brain region conventionally described as non-visual "unisensory" cortex.


STS; event related potential; local field potential; monkey; multimodal; multisensory

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Frontiers Media SA Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center