See me, hear me, touch me: multisensory integration in lateral occipital-temporal cortex

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2005 Apr;15(2):145-53. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2005.03.011.


Our understanding of multisensory integration has advanced because of recent functional neuroimaging studies of three areas in human lateral occipito-temporal cortex: superior temporal sulcus, area LO and area MT (V5). Superior temporal sulcus is activated strongly in response to meaningful auditory and visual stimuli, but responses to tactile stimuli have not been well studied. Area LO shows strong activation in response to both visual and tactile shape information, but not to auditory representations of objects. Area MT, an important region for processing visual motion, also shows weak activation in response to tactile motion, and a signal that drops below resting baseline in response to auditory motion. Within superior temporal sulcus, a patchy organization of regions is activated in response to auditory, visual and multisensory stimuli. This organization appears similar to that observed in polysensory areas in macaque superior temporal sulcus, suggesting that it is an anatomical substrate for multisensory integration. A patchy organization might also be a neural mechanism for integrating disparate representations within individual sensory modalities, such as representations of visual form and visual motion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hearing / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Occipital Lobe / physiology*
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology*
  • Touch / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*