Discrete neural substrates underlie complementary audiovisual speech integration processes

Ryan A. Stevenson, Ross M. VanDerKlok, David B. Pisoni, Thomas W. James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

68 Scopus citations


The ability to combine information from multiple sensory modalities into a single, unified percept is a key element in an organism's ability to interact with the external world. This process of perceptual fusion, the binding of multiple sensory inputs into a perceptual gestalt, is highly dependent on the temporal synchrony of the sensory inputs. Using fMRI, we identified two anatomically distinct brain regions in the superior temporal cortex, one involved with processing temporal-synchrony, and one with processing perceptual fusion of audiovisual speech. This dissociation suggests that the superior temporal cortex should be considered a "neuronal hub" composed of multiple discrete subregions that underlie an array of complementary low- and high-level multisensory integration processes. In this role, abnormalities in the structure and function of superior temporal cortex provide a possible common etiology for temporal-processing and perceptual-fusion deficits seen in a number of clinical populations, including individuals with autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia, and schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1339-1345
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011


  • Autism
  • Dyslexia
  • FMRI
  • Multisensory integration
  • Schizophrenia
  • Speech perception
  • STS
  • Temporal processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neurology

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