Bringing together neural, perceptual, and behavioral studies, The Merging of the Senses provides the first detailed review of how the brain assembles information from different sensory systems in order to produce a coherent view of the external world. Stein and Meredith marshall evidence from a broad array of species to show that interactions among senses are the most ancient scheme of sensory organization, an integrative system reflecting a general plan that supersedes structure and species. Most importantly, they explore what is known about the neural processes by which interactions among the senses take place at the level of the single cell.
The authors draw on their own experiments to illustrate how sensory inputs converge (from visual, auditory, and somatosensory modalities, for instance) on individual neurons in different areas of the brain, how these neurons integrate their inputs, the principles by which this integration occurs, and what this may mean for perception and behavior. Neurons in the superior colliculus and cortex are emphasized as models of multiple sensory integrators.
Barry E. Stein is Professor of Physiology and M. Alex Meredith is Associate Professor of Anatomy, both at the Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University.
About the Author
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).