Neural correlates of coherent audiovisual motion perception

Cereb Cortex. 2007 Jun;17(6):1433-43. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhl055. Epub 2006 Aug 23.


Real-life moving objects are often detected by multisensory cues. We investigated the cortical activity associated with coherent visual motion perception in the presence of a stationary or moving auditory noise source using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Twelve subjects judged episodes of 5-s random-dot motion containing either no (0%) or abundant (16%) coherent direction information. Auditory noise was presented with the displayed visual motion that was moving in phase, was moving out-of-phase, or was stationary. Subjects judged whether visual coherent motion was present, and if so, whether the auditory noise source was moving in phase, was moving out-of-phase, or was not moving. Performance was greatest for a moving sound source that was in phase with the visual coherent dot motion compared with when it was in antiphase. A random-effects analysis revealed that auditory motion activated extended regions in both cerebral hemispheres in the superior temporal gyrus (STG), with a right-hemispheric preponderance. Combined audiovisual motion led to activation clusters in the STG, the supramarginal gyrus, the superior parietal lobule, and the cerebellum. The size of the activated regions was substantially larger than that evoked by either visual or auditory motion alone. The congruent audiovisual motion evoked the most extensive activation pattern, exhibiting several exclusively activated subregions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Eye Movements / physiology
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Psychophysics
  • Sound Localization / physiology*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology