On the ‘visual’ in ‘audio-visual integration’: a hypothesis concerning visual pathways

TitleOn the ‘visual’ in ‘audio-visual integration’: a hypothesis concerning visual pathways
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsJaekl P, Pérez-Bellido A, Soto-Faraco S
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Date Published06/2014
KeywordsAudio-visual, Crossmodal, Enhancement, Magnocellular, multisensory, Reaction Time, Visual contrast, Visual pathways

Crossmodal interaction conferring enhancement in sensory processing is nowadays widely accepted. Such benefit is often exemplified by neural response amplification reported in physiological studies conducted with animals, which parallel behavioural demonstrations of sound-driven improvement in visual tasks in humans. Yet, a good deal of controversy still surrounds the nature and interpretation of these human psychophysical studies. Here, we consider the interpretation of crossmodal enhancement findings under the light of the functional as well as anatomical specialization of magno- and parvocellular visual pathways, whose paramount relevance has been well established in visual research but often overlooked in crossmodal research. We contend that a more explicit consideration of this important visual division may resolve some current controversies and help optimize the design of future crossmodal research.