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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2016 Oct;40:31-37. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2016.06.003. Epub 2016 Jun 23.

Where are multisensory signals combined for perceptual decision-making?

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UCL Ear Institute, 332 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8EE, UK. Electronic address:
UCL Ear Institute, 332 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8EE, UK.


Multisensory integration is observed in many subcortical and cortical locations including primary and non-primary sensory cortex, and higher cortical areas including frontal and parietal cortex. During unisensory perceptual tasks many of these same brain areas show neural signatures associated with decision-making. It is unclear whether multisensory representations in sensory cortex directly inform decision-making in a multisensory task, or if cross-modal signals are only combined after the accumulation of unisensory evidence at a final decision-making stage in higher cortical areas. Manipulations of neuronal activity are required to establish causal roles for given brain regions in multisensory perceptual decision-making, and so far indicate that distributed networks underlie multisensory decision-making. Understanding multisensory integration requires synthesis of small-scale pathway specific and large-scale network level manipulations.

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