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Exp Brain Res. 2009 Sep;198(2-3):165-82. doi: 10.1007/s00221-009-1949-4. Epub 2009 Aug 4.

Multisensory visual-tactile object related network in humans: insights gained using a novel crossmodal adaptation approach.

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Department of Medical Neurobiology, Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada, Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School, 91220 Jerusalem, Israel.


Neuroimaging techniques have provided ample evidence for multisensory integration in humans. However, it is not clear whether this integration occurs at the neuronal level or whether it reflects areal convergence without such integration. To examine this issue as regards visuo-tactile object integration we used the repetition suppression effect, also known as the fMRI-based adaptation paradigm (fMR-A). Under some assumptions, fMR-A can tag specific neuronal populations within an area and investigate their characteristics. This technique has been used extensively in unisensory studies. Here we applied it for the first time to study multisensory integration and identified a network of occipital (LOtv and calcarine sulcus), parietal (aIPS), and prefrontal (precentral sulcus and the insula) areas all showing a clear crossmodal repetition suppression effect. These results provide a crucial first insight into the neuronal basis of visuo-haptic integration of objects in humans and highlight the power of using fMR-A to study multisensory integration using non-invasinve neuroimaging techniques.

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