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Parietal disruption alters audiovisual binding in the sound-induced flash illusion

Parietal disruption alters audiovisual binding in the sound-induced flash illusion

Authors: 
M.R. Kamke, H.E. Vieth, D. Cottrell, J.B. Mattingley
Year: 
2012
Journal: 
NeuroImage
Abstract: 

Selective attention and multisensory integration are fundamental to perception, but little is known about whether, or under what circumstances, these processes interact to shape conscious awareness. Here, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to investigate the causal role of attention-related brain networks in multisensory integration between visual and auditory stimuli in the sound-inducedflashillusion. The flashillusion is a widely studied multisensory phenomenon in which a single flash of light is falsely perceived as multiple flashes in the presence of irrelevant sounds. We investigated the hypothesis that extrastriate regions involved in selective attention, specifically within the right parietal cortex, exert an influence on the multisensory integrative processes that cause the flashillusion. We found that disruption of the right angular gyrus, but not of the adjacent supramarginal gyrus or of a sensory control site, enhanced participants' veridical perception of the multisensory events, thereby reducing their susceptibility to the illusion. Our findings suggest that the same parietal networks that normally act to enhance perception of attended events also play a role in the binding of auditory and visual stimuli in the sound-inducedflashillusion.

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