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Journal of Computational Neuroscience

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 55–73 | Cite as

Multisensory integration in the superior colliculus: a neural network model

  • Mauro UrsinoEmail author
  • Cristiano Cuppini
  • Elisa Magosso
  • Andrea Serino
  • Giuseppe di Pellegrino
Article

Abstract

Neurons in the superior colliculus (SC) are known to integrate stimuli of different modalities (e.g., visual and auditory) following specific properties. In this work, we present a mathematical model of the integrative response of SC neurons, in order to suggest a possible physiological mechanism underlying multisensory integration in SC. The model includes three distinct neural areas: two unimodal areas (auditory and visual) are devoted to a topological representation of external stimuli, and communicate via synaptic connections with a third downstream area (in the SC) responsible for multisensory integration. The present simulations show that the model, with a single set of parameters, can mimic various responses to different combinations of external stimuli including the inverse effectiveness, both in terms of multisensory enhancement and contrast, the existence of within- and cross-modality suppression between spatially disparate stimuli, a reduction of network settling time in response to cross-modal stimuli compared with individual stimuli. The model suggests that non-linearities in neural responses and synaptic (excitatory and inhibitory) connections can explain several aspects of multisensory integration.

Keywords

Mathematical model Multisensory enhancement Cross-modal inhibition 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mauro Ursino
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cristiano Cuppini
    • 1
  • Elisa Magosso
    • 1
  • Andrea Serino
    • 2
  • Giuseppe di Pellegrino
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Electronics, Computer Science and SystemsUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly

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