Auditory motion does not modulate spiking activity in the middle temporal and medial superior temporal visual areas

Tristan A. Chaplin, Benjamin J. Allitt, Maureen A. Hagan, Marcello G.P. Rosa, Ramesh Rajan, Leo L. Lui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The integration of multiple sensory modalities is a key aspect of brain function, allowing animals to take advantage of concurrent sources of information to make more accurate perceptual judgments. For many years, multisensory integration in the cerebral cortex was deemed to occur only in high-level “polysensory” association areas. However, more recent studies have suggested that cross-modal stimulation can also influence neural activity in areas traditionally considered to be unimodal. In particular, several human neuroimaging studies have reported that extrastriate areas involved in visual motion perception are also activated by auditory motion, and may integrate audiovisual motion cues. However, the exact nature and extent of the effects of auditory motion on the visual cortex have not been studied at the single neuron level. We recorded the spiking activity of neurons in the middle temporal (MT) and medial superior temporal (MST) areas of anesthetized marmoset monkeys upon presentation of unimodal stimuli (moving auditory or visual patterns), as well as bimodal stimuli (concurrent audiovisual motion). Despite robust, direction selective responses to visual motion, none of the sampled neurons responded to auditory motion stimuli. Moreover, concurrent moving auditory stimuli had no significant effect on the ability of single MT and MST neurons, or populations of simultaneously recorded neurons, to discriminate the direction of motion of visual stimuli (moving random dot patterns with varying levels of motion noise). Our findings do not support the hypothesis that direct interactions between MT, MST and areas low in the hierarchy of auditory areas underlie audiovisual motion integration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2013-2029
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • audiovisual
  • marmoset
  • motion
  • multisensory

Cite this