This landmark reference work brings together for the first time in one volume the most recent research from different areas of the emerging field of multisensory integration. After many years of using a modality-specific "sense-by-sense" approach, researchers across different disciplines in neuroscience and psychology now recognize that perception is fundamentally a multisensory experience. To understand how the brain synthesizes information from the different senses, we must study not only how information from each sensory modality is decoded but also how this information interacts with the sensory processing taking place within other sensory channels. The findings cited in The Handbook of Multisensory Processes suggest that there are broad underlying principles that govern this interaction, regardless of the specific senses involved.
The book is organized thematically into eight sections; each of the 55 chapters presents a state-of-the-art review of its topic by leading researchers in the field. The key themes addressed include multisensory contributions to perception in humans; whether the sensory integration involved in speech perception is fundamentally different from other kinds of multisensory integration; multisensory processing in the midbrain and cortex in model species, including rat, cat, and monkey; behavioral consequences of multisensory integration; modern neuroimaging techniques, including EEG, PET, and fMRI, now being used to reveal the many sites of multisensory processing in the brain; multisensory processes that require postnatal sensory experience to emerge, with examples from multiple species; brain specialization and possible equivalence of brain regions; and clinical studies of such breakdowns of normal sensory integration as brain damage and synesthesia.
About the Editors
Gemma Calvert is a Wellcome Career Development Fellow and Head of the Multisensory Research Group at the Department of Physiology and Center for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain at Oxford University.
Barry E. Stein is Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. His previous books on this topic include The Merging of the Senses (MIT Press, 1993) and The Handbook of Multisensory Processes (MIT Press, 2004).
"This book reflects the richness and intellectual depth the field of multisensory integration has attained. The range of approaches is impressive, and should lead every neuroscientist to appreciate the multisensory nature of our brains. Essential."
—Michael S. Gazzaniga, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Dartmouth College
"This volume is a monumental achievement! Essential reading for anyone with an interest in this important field of the behavioral and neural sciences."
—Leo M. Chalupa, Professor of Ophthalmology and Neurobiology, and Chair, Section of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, University of California, Davis
"Biologically inspired computational modeling of the processes for integrating sensory data is widely seen as essential for both understanding complex neuroscientific data and constructing smarter artificial systems. The comprehensive accounts of the physiological, psychological, developmental, and functional processes associated with multisensory integration presented in this handbook will provide much of the 'biological inspiration' for future models in this area."
—Peter Redgrave, Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield