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Craik Club Christmas Lecture: Selective attention, multisensory integration and spatial neglect

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Interactions between different sensory modalities can influence not only traditional ‘multisensory’ regions of the human brain, but also some regions usually considered modality-specific, such as visual and somatosensory cortex. I will illustrate this general point with examples from our own work on human crossmodal spatial attention, and on interactions between concurrent stimulation in different senses. I will also describe how deficits in the spatial-neglect syndrome after stroke can often generalise across the senses. Many of these normal and pathological crossmodal phenomena may reflect back-projection influences from multisensory structures (e.g, in frontal or parietal cortex) upon sensory-specific areas (e.g. in visual and somatosensory cortex). I will describe some new methods for potential study of such causal interplay between remote but interconnected areas of the human brain, including concurrent use of TMS during fMRI scanning.

This talk is part of the Craik Club series.

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