Multisensory cortical processing of object shape and its relation to mental imagery.

Department of Neurology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.
Cognitive Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 3.87). 07/2004; 4(2):251-9. DOI: 10.3758/CABN.4.2.251
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the multisensory processing of object shape in the human cerebral cortex and explored the role of mental imagery in such processing. Regions active bilaterally during both visual and haptic shape perception, relative to texture perception in the respective modality, included parts of the superior parietal gyrus, the anterior intraparietal sulcus, and the lateral occipital complex. Of these bimodal regions, the lateral occipital complexes preferred visual over haptic stimuli, whereas the parietal areas preferred haptic over visual stimuli. Whereas most subjects reported little haptic imagery during visual shape perception, experiences of visual imagery during haptic shape perception were common. Across subjects, ratings of the vividness of visual imagery strongly predicted the amount of haptic shape-selective activity in the right, but not in the left, lateral occipital complex. Thus, visual imagery appears to contribute to activation of some, but not all, visual cortical areas during haptic perception.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The ability to use cues from multiple senses in concert is a fundamental aspect of brain function. It maximizes the brain's use of the information available to it at any given moment and enhances the physiological salience of external events. Because each sense conveys a unique perspective of the external world, synthesizing information across senses affords computational benefits that cannot otherwise be achieved. Multisensory integration not only has substantial survival value but can also create unique experiences that emerge when signals from different sensory channels are bound together. However, neurons in a newborn's brain are not capable of multisensory integration, and studies in the midbrain have shown that the development of this process is not predetermined. Rather, its emergence and maturation critically depend on cross-modal experiences that alter the underlying neural circuit in such a way that optimizes multisensory integrative capabilities for the environment in which the animal will function.
    Nature reviews. Neuroscience. 07/2014; 15(8):520-35.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Visual and haptic unisensory object processing show many similarities in terms of categorization, recognition, and representation. In this review, we discuss how these similarities contribute to multisensory object processing. In particular, we show that similar unisensory visual and haptic representations lead to a shared multisensory representation underlying both cross-modal object recognition and view-independence. This shared representation suggests a common neural substrate and we review several candidate brain regions, previously thought to be specialized for aspects of visual processing, that are now known also to be involved in analogous haptic tasks. Finally, we lay out the evidence for a model of multisensory object recognition in which top-down and bottom-up pathways to the object-selective lateral occipital complex are modulated by object familiarity and individual differences in object and spatial imagery.
    Frontiers in Psychology 01/2014; 5:730. · 2.80 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A cross-modal association between somatosensory tactile sensation and parietal and occipital activities during Braille reading was initially discovered in tests with blind subjects, with sighted and blindfolded healthy subjects used as controls. However, the neural background of oral stereognosis remains unclear. In the present study, we investigated whether the parietal and occipital cortices are activated during shape discrimination by the mouth using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Following presentation of the test piece shape, a sham discrimination trial without the test pieces induced posterior parietal lobe (BA7), extrastriate cortex (BA18, BA19), and striate cortex (BA17) activation as compared with the rest session, while shape discrimination of the test pieces markedly activated those areas as compared with the rest session. Furthermore, shape discrimination of the test pieces specifically activated the posterior parietal cortex (precuneus/BA7), extrastriate cortex (BA18, 19), and striate cortex (BA17), as compared with sham sessions without a test piece. We concluded that oral tactile sensation is recognized through tactile/visual cross-modal substrates in the parietal and occipital cortices during shape discrimination by the mouth.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(10):e108685. · 3.53 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 20, 2014