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We are very happy to welcome Mark T. Wallace, PhD as the ’Visiting Honorary Chair in Cognitive Science’ this year. Wallace is the director of the Vanderbilt Brain Institute, professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences and professor of Psychiatry at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He is interested in better understanding how the brain synthesizes information from multiple sensory systems (e.g., vision, hearing, touch).

Detail Summary
Date 25 June 2015
Time 16:00 - 17:30

We live in a world in which we are continually bombarded with stimuli from a number of different sensory modalities. As such, one of the important functions of our brains is to combine this rich sensory mélange into a coherent and unified perceptual representation.

Although we now know a great deal about how multisensory interactions guide behavior and shape perception and cognition, and about the neural correlates of these interactions, our knowledge about the development and plasticity of multisensory representations has lagged behind.

In the lecture, Mark Wallace will begin with an overview of the benefits that can be gleaned from multisensory interactions, and review some of the neural bases for these effects. He will then describe work in animal models that has revealed some of the basic features of how multisensory representations develop, and the inherent plasticity contained within these representations. Further on Wallace will then transition to describe studies in humans that highlight the multisensory plasticity that takes place not only during the course of development, but also in the adult.

This lecture ends with a discussion of the clinical implications of alterations in multisensory function, with an emphasis on neurodevelopmental disabilities.