Auditory influences on non-auditory cortices

Hear Res. 2009 Dec;258(1-2):64-71. doi: 10.1016/j.heares.2009.03.005. Epub 2009 Mar 20.


Although responses to auditory stimuli have been extensively examined in the well-known regions of auditory cortex, there are numerous reports of acoustic sensitivity in cortical areas that are dominated by other sensory modalities. Whether in 'polysensory' cortex or in visual or somatosensory regions, auditory responses in non-auditory cortex have been described largely in terms of auditory processing. This review takes a different perspective that auditory responses in non-auditory cortex, either through multisensory subthreshold or bimodal processing, provide subtle but consistent expansion of the range of activity of the dominant modality within a given area. Thus, the features of these acoustic responses may have more to do with the subtle adjustment of response gain within a given non-auditory region than the encoding of their tonal properties.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Auditory Perception / physiology
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Cats
  • Ferrets / physiology
  • Hearing
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Touch
  • Vision, Ocular*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology
  • Visual Pathways / physiology