Dr Johanna Zumer (pictured right) and Professor Uta Noppeney (pictured left) have succeeded in obtaining 2 years of funding through the EU Marie Curie IEF to carry out novel investigations to understand the neural basis of deciding when multisensory signals should be integrated versus segregated.
In our everyday interactions with the environment, the brain is challenged to integrate sensory signals that emanate from a common event, but segregate those from different events. For instance, in the pub, we should integrate the facial movements of the speaker we are listening to with the speech he produces whilst ignoring other voices. Despite its importance for many daily situations, little is known about how the brain arbitrates between multisensory information integration and segregation in such an effortless manner.
Using multiple brain imaging techniques including EEG, MEG, and concurrent EEG-fMRI as well as computational modelling, Dr Zumer and Professor Noppeney will characterise the neural dynamics associated with this decision process, in light of several influential hypotheses of communication between brain regions.