Chapter

Development of multisensory integration in subcortical and cortical brain networks

Mark T. Wallace, Dipanwita Ghose, Aaron R. Nidiffer, Matthew C. Fister and Juliane Krueger Fister

in Multisensory Development

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199586059
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741470 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199586059.003.0014
Development of multisensory integration in subcortical and cortical brain networks

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Recent neurophysiological studies have highlighted the dramatic integrative capacity of multisensory neurons and networks in response to stimulus combinations. In comparison to this rapidly expanding wealth of data on adult multisensory circuits, substantially less has been written about how multisensory neurons and their associated networks develop during early life. However, this situation is quickly changing as the developmental chronology of multisensory processes is mapped in both subcortical and cortical brain structures. These studies have revealed that multisensory neurons appear rather late in development, and initially lack the striking integrative characteristics that define their adult counterparts. As postnatal life progresses, however, the incidence of multisensory neurons increases rapidly and their non-linear integrative capabilities start to appear. Sensory experience appears to play a major role in shaping these developmental events, in that animals raised in environments devoid of multisensory associations or with altered associations develop abnormal integrative features.

Keywords: multisensory development; multisensory; multisensory integration; developmental neurophysiology; multisensory experience

Chapter.  9305 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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