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Eur J Neurosci. 2014 Feb;39(4):602-13. doi: 10.1111/ejn.12423. Epub 2013 Nov 19.

Noise-rearing disrupts the maturation of multisensory integration.

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1
Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, 27157, USA.

Abstract

It is commonly believed that the ability to integrate information from different senses develops according to associative learning principles as neurons acquire experience with co-active cross-modal inputs. However, previous studies have not distinguished between requirements for co-activation versus co-variation. To determine whether cross-modal co-activation is sufficient for this purpose in visual-auditory superior colliculus (SC) neurons, animals were reared in constant omnidirectional noise. By masking most spatiotemporally discrete auditory experiences, the noise created a sensory landscape that decoupled stimulus co-activation and co-variance. Although a near-normal complement of visual-auditory SC neurons developed, the vast majority could not engage in multisensory integration, revealing that visual-auditory co-activation was insufficient for this purpose. That experience with co-varying stimuli is required for multisensory maturation is consistent with the role of the SC in detecting and locating biologically significant events, but it also seems likely that this is a general requirement for multisensory maturation throughout the brain.

KEYWORDS:

cat; cross-modal; hearing; vision

PMID:
24251451
PMCID:
PMC3944832
DOI:
10.1111/ejn.12423
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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