: The brain is able to gather different sensory information to enhance salient event perception, thus yielding a unified perceptual experience of multisensory events. Multisensory integration has been widely studied, and the literature supports the hypothesis that it can occur across various stages of stimulus processing, including both bottom-up and top-down control. However, evidence on anticipatory multisensory integration occurring in the fore period preceding the presentation of the expected stimulus in passive tasks, is missing. By means of event-related potentials (ERPs), it has been recently proposed that visual and auditory unimodal stimulations are preceded by sensory-specific readiness activities. Accordingly, in the present study, we tested the occurrence of multisensory integration in the endogenous anticipatory phase of sensory processing, combining visual and auditory stimuli during unimodal and multimodal passive ERP paradigms. Results showed that the modality-specific pre-stimulus ERP components (i.e., the auditory positivity -aP- and the visual negativity -vN-) started earlier and were larger in the multimodal stimulation compared with the sum of the ERPs elicited by the unimodal stimulations. The same amplitude effect was also present for the early auditory N1 and visual P1 components. This anticipatory multisensory effect seems to influence stimulus processing, boosting the magnitude of early stimulus processing. This paves the way for new perspectives on the neural basis of multisensory integration.

Neural Basis of Anticipatory Multisensory Integration

Bianco, Valentina;
2021-01-01

Abstract

: The brain is able to gather different sensory information to enhance salient event perception, thus yielding a unified perceptual experience of multisensory events. Multisensory integration has been widely studied, and the literature supports the hypothesis that it can occur across various stages of stimulus processing, including both bottom-up and top-down control. However, evidence on anticipatory multisensory integration occurring in the fore period preceding the presentation of the expected stimulus in passive tasks, is missing. By means of event-related potentials (ERPs), it has been recently proposed that visual and auditory unimodal stimulations are preceded by sensory-specific readiness activities. Accordingly, in the present study, we tested the occurrence of multisensory integration in the endogenous anticipatory phase of sensory processing, combining visual and auditory stimuli during unimodal and multimodal passive ERP paradigms. Results showed that the modality-specific pre-stimulus ERP components (i.e., the auditory positivity -aP- and the visual negativity -vN-) started earlier and were larger in the multimodal stimulation compared with the sum of the ERPs elicited by the unimodal stimulations. The same amplitude effect was also present for the early auditory N1 and visual P1 components. This anticipatory multisensory effect seems to influence stimulus processing, boosting the magnitude of early stimulus processing. This paves the way for new perspectives on the neural basis of multisensory integration.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1498128
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