Synchronisation of Neural Oscillations and Cross-modal Influences

Trends Cogn Sci. 2020 Jun;24(6):481-495. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2020.03.003. Epub 2020 Apr 18.


At any given moment, we receive multiple signals from our different senses. Prior research has shown that signals in one sensory modality can influence neural activity and behavioural performance associated with another sensory modality. Recent human and nonhuman primate studies suggest that such cross-modal influences in sensory cortices are mediated by the synchronisation of ongoing neural oscillations. In this review, we consider two mechanisms proposed to facilitate cross-modal influences on sensory processing, namely cross-modal phase resetting and neural entrainment. We consider how top-down processes may further influence cross-modal processing in a flexible manner, and we highlight fruitful directions for further research.

Keywords: causal inference; cross-modal influence; multisensory; neural entrainment; neural oscillations; phase reset.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Auditory Perception*
  • Parietal Lobe*