Neurobiologists have traditionally assumed that multisensory integration is a higher order process that occurs after sensory signals have undergone extensive processing through a hierarchy of unisensory subcortical and cortical regions. Recent findings, however, question this assumption. Studies in humans, nonhuman primates and other species demonstrate multisensory convergence in low level cortical structures that were generally believed to be unisensory in function. In addition to enriching current models of multisensory processing and perceptual functions, these new findings require a revision in our thinking about unisensory processing in low level cortical areas.
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