The 27th Annual Cognitive Neuroscience Society CNS 2020 Virtual meeting took place from May 2-5, 2020. During the Symposim Sessions part of the program, CIBM EEG CHUV-UNIL Section Head, Professor Micah Murray gave an informative and exciting talk on “A Multisensory Perspective on Primary Cortices”.

To listen to the talk, please click here

About the talk

The turn of the 21st century introduced evidence dramatically changing our conception of functional brain organization and cortical gradients. Anatomic evidence in non-human primates showed that primary cortices were directly (i.e. monosynaptically) interconnected. Some even proposed that the whole neocortex is essentially multisensory in nature. In this talk, I will overview our efforts to provide evidence in humans that primary cortices are indeed fundamentally multisensory and play an active role in multisensory processes and perception. This evidence is provided from a full pallet of human brain imaging, mapping, and stimulation methods. First, there is both convergence and integration occurring within primary visual and auditory cortices at early post-stimulus stages. Second, these processes are behaviourally relevant, can be linked with excitability changes, and impact perceptual outcome. Third and more generally, early-latency multisensory processes extending from primary to lateral-occipital regions play a direct role in recognition memory. Finally, we extend such findings to show how multisensory processes across the lifespan are tethered to global cognition and its breakdown, providing a potential access point for screening and treatment. Together, these data underscore how multisensory research and its applications in basic, clinical, and applied research is changing long-held models of graduated functional brain organization.

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