Perception and action fundamentally depend on the integration of information originating from different sensory modalities. Our brain needs to combine inputs from different senses to make accurate judgments about what is happening in the world around us, and how to act on these events. Without this integration, brain representations would lack the qualitative richness characteristic of conscious experience. In extreme form, multisensory integration leads to synesthesia: inputs from one sensory modality gives rise to sensations in another modality, such as seeing colors in response to hearing tones in a piece of music. Research over the past decades has converged to suggest that, indeed, perception is a fundamentally multimodal phenomenon.
In this summer course, we will pay attention both to psychological and psychophysical manifestations of multisensory integration and synesthesia, as well as to their neural bases. Neuroanatomical substrates underlying integration will be discussed, as well as research on neurophysiological coding mechanisms, computational models and neuroimaging studies.
Topics of special interest include the genesis of multisensory interactions and synesthesia during development, the functional connectivity of brain areas mediating these interactions, and the role of electrophysiological rhythms for communication between different modalities.
Henry Kennedy - The Brain in Space
Sophie Deneve - Turning the table on population coding: The balance is the key
Umberto Olcese - Assistant Professor at the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, University of Amsterdam
Andrea Serino Center for Neuroprosthetics, EPFL, Lausanne Dipartimento di Psicologia, Università di Bologna - Intracortical circuits for multisensory integration
Beatrice de Gelder - Bodies by ear and by eye
Charles Spence - Crossmodal correspondences: Looking for links between sound symbolism & synaesthesia, & their application to multisensory marketing
The Summer School and the associated Symposium are organized by prof. dr. Cyriel Pennartz ( Swammerdam Institute for Life Science, UvA) and Dr. Romke Rouw (Brain & Cognition Psychology Department, UvA).