The multisensory function of the human primary visual cortex

Murray, M. M., Thelen, A., Thut, G. , Romei, V., Martuzzi, R. and Matusz, P. J. (2016) The multisensory function of the human primary visual cortex. Neuropsychologia, 83, pp. 161-169. (doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2015.08.011) (PMID:26275965)

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It has been nearly 10 years since Ghazanfar and Schroeder (2006) proposed that the neocortex is essentially multisensory in nature. However, it is only recently that sufficient and hard evidence that supports this proposal has accrued. We review evidence that activity within the human primary visual cortex plays an active role in multisensory processes and directly impacts behavioural outcome. This evidence emerges from a full pallet of human brain imaging and brain mapping methods with which multisensory processes are quantitatively assessed by taking advantage of particular strengths of each technique as well as advances in signal analyses. Several general conclusions about multisensory processes in primary visual cortex of humans are supported relatively solidly. First, haemodynamic methods (fMRI/PET) show that there is both convergence and integration occurring within primary visual cortex. Second, primary visual cortex is involved in multisensory processes during early post-stimulus stages (as revealed by EEG/ERP/ERFs as well as TMS). Third, multisensory effects in primary visual cortex directly impact behaviour and perception, as revealed by correlational (EEG/ERPs/ERFs) as well as more causal measures (TMS/tACS). While the provocative claim of Ghazanfar and Schroeder (2006) that the whole of neocortex is multisensory in function has yet to be demonstrated, this can now be considered established in the case of the human primary visual cortex.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Thut, Professor Gregor
Authors: Murray, M. M., Thelen, A., Thut, G., Romei, V., Martuzzi, R., and Matusz, P. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Neuropsychologia
Publisher:Elsevier Ltd.
ISSN (Online):1873-3514
Published Online:11 August 2015

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
597911Natural and modulated neural communication: State-dependent decoding and driving of human Brain OscillationsGregor ThutWellcome Trust (WELLCOME)098434/Z/12/ZINP - CENTRE FOR COGNITIVE NEUROIMAGING