More to Seeing Than Meets the Eye

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Science  18 Aug 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5482, pp. 1148-1149
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5482.1148

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A single event may elicit several different sensory stimuli such as vision, sound, and touch. But how does the brain know which of the many different stimuli arriving in the sensory cortex of the brain are connected? In her Perspective, de Gelder discusses new findings showing that when a touch is applied on the same side of the body as a visual cue, vision is enhanced ( Macaluso et al.). She explains that this effect is due to neurons projecting from the somatosensory (touch) area of the sensory cortex back to the visual cortex. These neurons keep the visual cortex informed about tactile stimuli elicited at the same time as the visual stimuli.