Auditory cortical neurons respond to somatosensory stimulation.

Fu KM, Johnston TA, Shah AS, Arnold L, Smiley J, Hackett TA, Garraghty PE, Schroeder CE
J Neurosci. 2003 23 (20): 7510-5

PMID: 12930789 · PMCID: PMC6740753

The prevailing hierarchical model of cortical sensory processing holds that early processing is specific to individual modalities and that combination of information from different modalities is deferred until higher-order stages of processing. In this paper, we present physiological evidence of multisensory convergence at an early stage of cortical auditory processing. We used multi-neuron cluster recordings, along with a limited sample of single-unit recordings, to determine whether neurons in the macaque auditory cortex respond to cutaneous stimulation. We found coextensive cutaneous and auditory responses in caudomedial auditory cortex, an area lying adjacent to A1, and at the second stage of the auditory cortical hierarchy. Somatosensory-auditory convergence in auditory cortex may underlie effects observed in human studies. Convergence of inputs from different sensory modalities at very early stages of cortical sensory processing has important implications for both our developing understanding of multisensory processing and established views of unisensory processing.

MeSH Terms (8)

Acoustic Stimulation Afferent Pathways Animals Auditory Cortex Auditory Pathways Macaca Neurons Skin

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