4th Annual Meeting of the International Multisensory Research Forum
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John J. Foxe

The case for early feedforward integration of multisensory inputs
Multiple Paper Presentation

John J. Foxe
Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research and Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Charles Schroeder
Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research and Albert Einstein College of Medicine

     Abstract ID Number: 147

A widely held view in the field of multisensory science is that sensory information from a single object (e.g. a barking dog) is first processed extensively through the respective unisensory processing streams before the information is combined in higher-order multisensory regions of cortex. Under this view, multisensory modulations found in early sensory cortices during hemodynamic imaging studies have been interpreted as reflecting feedback modulations that occur subsequent to multisensory processing in the higher-order areas. Of course, hemodynamic imaging cannot address the relative timing of such activations. The present article reports on recent evidence from both human and monkey electrophysiological investigations that challenge an exclusively feedback model. Specifically, these studies show that multisensory integration effects are seen at very early latencies relative to the well-established timecourse of sensory activation within the respective unisensory processing streams. Further, intracranial recordings show that multisensory inputs found in early sensory cortices display a characteristic feedforward pattern of inputs. Lastly, recent anatomic tracer studies have begun to uncover direct connections between early visual and auditory sensory regions that were previously thought not to exist, providing the necessary anatomic substrate for such early interactions. In light of these recent findings, it is becoming evident that models of multisensory cortical processing will need to incorporate early feedforward integration mechanisms as well as feedback.

To be Presented at the Following Symposium:
Contributions of Feedforward, Feedback and Lateral projections to Multisensory Convergence and Integration.
Other papers in this Symposium:

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