Multisensory processing in sensory-specific cortical areas

Neuroscientist. 2006 Aug;12(4):327-38. doi: 10.1177/1073858406287908.


The anatomical organization of the brain is such that incoming signals from different sensory modalities are initially processed in anatomically separate regions of the cortex. When these signals originate from a single event or object in the external world, it is essential that the inputs are integrated to form a coherent representation of the multisensory event. This review discusses recent data indicating that the integration of multisensory signals relies not only on anatomical convergence from sensory-specific cortices to multi-sensory brain areas but also on reciprocal influences between cortical regions that are traditionally considered as sensory-specific. These findings highlight integration mechanisms that go beyond traditional models based on a hierarchical convergence of sensory processing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology*
  • Perception / physiology*