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Neural correlates of multisensory cue integration in macaque MSTd

Summary: Neural correlates of multisensory cue integration in
macaque MSTd
Yong Gu1, Dora E Angelaki1,3 & Gregory C DeAngelis13
Human observers combine multiple sensory cues synergistically to achieve greater perceptual sensitivity, but little is known about
the underlying neuronal mechanisms. We recorded the activity of neurons in the dorsal medial superior temporal (MSTd) area during
a task in which trained monkeys combined visual and vestibular cues near-optimally to discriminate heading. During bimodal
stimulation, MSTd neurons combined visual and vestibular inputs linearly with subadditive weights. Neurons with congruent heading
preferences for visual and vestibular stimuli showed improvements in sensitivity that parallel behavioral effects. In contrast, neurons
with opposite preferences showed diminished sensitivity under cue combination. Responses of congruent cells were more strongly
correlated with monkeys' perceptual decisions than were responses of opposite cells, suggesting that the monkey monitored the
activity of congruent cells to a greater extent during cue integration. These findings show that perceptual cue integration occurs in
nonhuman primates and identify a population of neurons that may form its neural basis.
Understanding how the brain combines different sources of sensory
information to optimize perception is a fundamental problem in
neuroscience. Information from different sensory modalities is often
seamlessly integrated into a unified percept. Combining sensory inputs
leads to improved behavioral performance in many contexts, including
integration of texture and motion cues for depth perception1, integra-
tion of stereo and texture cues for slant perception2,3, visual-haptic
integration4,5, visual-auditory localization6 and object recognition7.


Source: Angelaki, Dora - Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University in St. Louis
DeAngelis, Gregory - Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester


Collections: Biology and Medicine