Multimodal Integration - Principles of Multisensory Integration - Perceptual and Behavioral Consequences

Perceptual and Behavioral Consequences

A unimodal approach dominated scientific literature until the beginning of this century. Although this enabled rapid progression of neural mapping, and an improved understanding of neural structures, the investigation of perception remained relatively stagnant. The recent revitalized enthusiasm into perceptual research is indicative of a substantial shift away from reductionism and toward gestalt methodologies. Gestalt theory, dominant in the late 19th and early 20th centuries espoused two general principles: the ‘principle of totality’ in which conscious experience must be considered globally, and the ‘principle of psychophysical isomorphism’ which states that perceptual phenomena are correlated with cerebral activity. These ideas are particularly relevant in the current climate and have driven researchers to investigate the behavioural benefits of multisensory integration.

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