Perceptual representations are built through multisensory interactions underpinned by dense anatomical and functional neural networks that interconnect primary and associative cortical areas. There is compelling evidence that primary sensory cortical areas do not work in segregation, but play a role in early processes of multisensory integration. In this chapter, we firstly review previous and recent literature showing how multimodal interactions between primary cortices may contribute to refining perceptual representations. Secondly, we discuss findings providing evidence that, following peripheral damage to a sensory system, multimodal integration may promote sensory substitution in deprived cortical areas and favor compensatory plasticity in the spared sensory cortices.
Part of the book: Connectivity and Functional Specialization in the Brain