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J Comput Neurosci. 2009 Feb;26(1):55-73. doi: 10.1007/s10827-008-0096-4. Epub 2008 May 14.

Multisensory integration in the superior colliculus: a neural network model.

Author information

1
Department of Electronics, Computer Science and Systems, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy. mauro.ursino@unibo.it

Abstract

Neurons in the superior colliculus (SC) are known to integrate stimuli of different modalities (e.g., visual and auditory) following specific properties. In this work, we present a mathematical model of the integrative response of SC neurons, in order to suggest a possible physiological mechanism underlying multisensory integration in SC. The model includes three distinct neural areas: two unimodal areas (auditory and visual) are devoted to a topological representation of external stimuli, and communicate via synaptic connections with a third downstream area (in the SC) responsible for multisensory integration. The present simulations show that the model, with a single set of parameters, can mimic various responses to different combinations of external stimuli including the inverse effectiveness, both in terms of multisensory enhancement and contrast, the existence of within- and cross-modality suppression between spatially disparate stimuli, a reduction of network settling time in response to cross-modal stimuli compared with individual stimuli. The model suggests that non-linearities in neural responses and synaptic (excitatory and inhibitory) connections can explain several aspects of multisensory integration.

PMID:
18478323
DOI:
10.1007/s10827-008-0096-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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