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The co-occurrence of multisensory facilitation and cross-modal conflict in the human brain


Diaconescu, Andreea Oliviana; Alain, Claude; McIntosh, Anthony Randal (2011). The co-occurrence of multisensory facilitation and cross-modal conflict in the human brain. Journal of Neurophysiology, 106(6):2896-2909.

Abstract

Perceptual objects often comprise a visual and auditory signature which arrives simultaneously through distinct sensory channels, and cross-modal features are linked by virtue of being attributed to a specific object. Continued exposure to cross-modal events sets up expectations about what a given object most likely "sounds" like, and vice versa, thereby facilitating object detection and recognition. The binding of familiar auditory and visual signatures is referred to as semantic, multisensory integration. While integration of semantically-related cross-modal features is behaviorally advantageous, situations of sensory dominance of one modality at the expense of another, impairs performance. In the present study, magnetoencephalography recordings of semantically-related cross-modal and unimodal stimuli captured the spatiotemporal patterns underlying multisensory processing at multiple stages. At early stages, 100ms after stimulus onset, posterior parietal brain regions responded preferentially to cross-modal stimuli irrespective of task instructions or the degree of semantic relatedness between the auditory and visual components. As participants were required to classify cross-modal stimuli into semantic categories, activity in superior temporal and posterior cingulate cortices increased between 200 and 400ms. As task instructions changed to incorporate cross-modal conflict, a process whereby auditory and visual components of cross-modal stimuli were compared to estimate their degree of congruence, multisensory processes were captured in parahippocampal, dorsomedial, and orbitofrontal cortices 100 and 400ms after stimulus onset. Our results suggest that multisensory facilitation is associated with posterior parietal activity as early as 100ms after stimulus onset. However, as participants are required to evaluate cross-modal stimuli based on their semantic category or their degree of congruence, multisensory processes extend in cingulate, temporal, and prefrontal cortices.

Abstract

Perceptual objects often comprise a visual and auditory signature which arrives simultaneously through distinct sensory channels, and cross-modal features are linked by virtue of being attributed to a specific object. Continued exposure to cross-modal events sets up expectations about what a given object most likely "sounds" like, and vice versa, thereby facilitating object detection and recognition. The binding of familiar auditory and visual signatures is referred to as semantic, multisensory integration. While integration of semantically-related cross-modal features is behaviorally advantageous, situations of sensory dominance of one modality at the expense of another, impairs performance. In the present study, magnetoencephalography recordings of semantically-related cross-modal and unimodal stimuli captured the spatiotemporal patterns underlying multisensory processing at multiple stages. At early stages, 100ms after stimulus onset, posterior parietal brain regions responded preferentially to cross-modal stimuli irrespective of task instructions or the degree of semantic relatedness between the auditory and visual components. As participants were required to classify cross-modal stimuli into semantic categories, activity in superior temporal and posterior cingulate cortices increased between 200 and 400ms. As task instructions changed to incorporate cross-modal conflict, a process whereby auditory and visual components of cross-modal stimuli were compared to estimate their degree of congruence, multisensory processes were captured in parahippocampal, dorsomedial, and orbitofrontal cortices 100 and 400ms after stimulus onset. Our results suggest that multisensory facilitation is associated with posterior parietal activity as early as 100ms after stimulus onset. However, as participants are required to evaluate cross-modal stimuli based on their semantic category or their degree of congruence, multisensory processes extend in cingulate, temporal, and prefrontal cortices.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:December 2011
Deposited On:15 Feb 2012 10:17
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:25
Publisher:American Physiological Society
ISSN:0022-3077 (P), 1522-1598 (E)
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.​1152/​jn.​00303.​2011
PubMed ID:21880944
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:4244

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