CORDIS - EU research results

Circuits for multisensory integration in the perirhinal cortex

Project description

More to the perirhinal cortex than meets the eye

Much if not all of our behaviour and cognitive processing relies on multisensory integration, the combination of two or more sensory inputs – for example, the look and feel of a kitten or the sound of waves and the feel of ocean spray on our faces. Moreover, both neurally and behaviourally, the output is not simply a summation of the inputs. This complex integration has neural substrates in several brain regions. One of these, the perirhinal cortex, has been difficult to study. The EU-funded RhinalMultiSense project is applying novel tools to investigate cell connectivity in this region. By studying its neural architecture and identifying cells responsive to different sensory modalities, the project plans to trace back the inputs and find out where the outputs go to shed new light on the role of the perirhinal cortex in multisensory processing.


While watching a movie or listening to a friend, our brain integrates information from all the senses to build a coherent neural representation of the experience. This allows our brain to assign a voice to each character in the movie and localize it in the visual space, or to anticipate the meaning of our friend’s speech from hers lip movements. This function of the brain is called multisensory integration (MSI) and is a core function of the nervous system. In the mammalian cortex, MSI occurs in associative areas such as prefrontal cortex, posterior parietal cortex and perirhinal cortex (PER). The role of PER in MSI is supported by neuroanatomical data, however the investigation of the circuits underlying MSI in PER has been hampered by technical limitations in manipulating neurons processing a specific information. In RhinalMultiSense I will combine novel technological tools to disentangle the architecture of MSI in PER. I will combine engram technology and viral tracing to describe the inputs impinging onto perirhinal neurons activated by a specific modality. I will then combine engram technology and optogenetics to investigate the output connectivity of these neurons. The results of RhinalMultiSense will inspire new hypothesis and investigation on the function of PER circuits in sensory processing in health and disease.


Net EU contribution
€ 214 158,72
7491 Trondheim

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Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 214 158,72