Crossmodal spatial influences of touch on extrastriate visual areas take current gaze direction into account

Neuron. 2002 May 16;34(4):647-58. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(02)00678-5.


Recent results indicate that crossmodal interactions can affect activity in cortical regions traditionally regarded as "unimodal." Previously we found that combining touch on one hand with visual stimulation in the anatomically corresponding hemifield could boost responses in contralateral visual cortex. Here we manipulated which visual hemifield corresponded to the location of the stimulated hand, by changing gaze direction such that right-hand touch could now arise in either the left or right visual field. Crossmodal effects on visual cortex switched from one hemisphere to the other, depending on gaze direction, regardless of whether the hand was seen. This indicates that crossmodal influences of touch upon visual cortex depend on spatial alignment for the multimodal stimuli, with gaze posture taken into account.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Eye Movements / physiology
  • Fixation, Ocular / physiology*
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Nerve Net / anatomy & histology
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Orientation / physiology
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Physical Stimulation
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Reaction Time
  • Somatosensory Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Somatosensory Cortex / physiology*
  • Space Perception / physiology*
  • Touch / physiology*
  • Visual Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Fields / physiology