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The neural mechanisms of reliability weighted integration of shape information from vision and touch

MPS-Authors
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons83960

Helbig,  HB
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Research Group Multisensory Perception and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons83906

Ernst,  MO
Research Group Multisensory Perception and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84937

Ricciardi,  E
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84257

Pietrini P, Thielscher,  A
Department High-Field Magnetic Resonance, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84079

Mayer,  KM
Research Group Multisensory Perception and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84201

Schultz,  J
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84112

Noppeney,  U
Research Group Cognitive Neuroimaging, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Helbig, H., Ernst, M., Ricciardi, E., Pietrini P, Thielscher, A., Mayer, K., Schultz, J., et al. (2012). The neural mechanisms of reliability weighted integration of shape information from vision and touch. NeuroImage, 60(2), 1063–1072. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.09.072.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-B7E0-7
Abstract
Behaviourally, humans have been shown to integrate multisensory information in a statistically-optimal fashion by averaging the individual unisensory estimates according to their relative reliabilities. This form of integration is optimal in that it yields the most reliable (i.e. least variable) multisensory percept. The present study investigates the neural mechanisms underlying integration of visual and tactile shape information at the macroscopic scale of the regional BOLD response. Observers discriminated the shapes of ellipses that were presented bimodally (visual-tactile) or visually alone. A 2×5 factorial design manipulated (i) the presence vs. absence of tactile shape information and (ii) the reliability of the visual shape information (five levels). We then investigated whether regional activations underlying tactile shape discrimination depended on the reliability of visual shape. Indeed, in primary somatosensory cortices (bilateral BA2) and the superior parietal lobe the responses to tactile shape input were increased when the reliability of visual shape information was reduced. Conversely, tactile inputs suppressed visual activations in the right posterior fusiform, when the visual signal was blurred and unreliable. Somatosensory and visual cortices may sustain integration of visual and tactile shape information either via direct connections from visual areas or top-down effects from higher order parietal areas.