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Development of Multisensory Processing in Ferret Parietal Cortex.
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  • Alexandre Medina,
  • W. Alex Foxworthy,
  • Dongil Keum,
  • M. Alex Meredith
Alexandre Medina
University of Maryland Baltimore

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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W. Alex Foxworthy
Eastern Shore Community College
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Dongil Keum
University of Maryland Baltimore
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M. Alex Meredith
Virginia Commonwealth University
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It is well known that the nervous system adjusts itself to its environment during development. Although a great deal of effort has been directed toward understanding the developmental processes of the individual sensory systems (e.g., vision, hearing, etc.), only one major study has examined the maturation of multisensory processing of cortical neurons. Therefore, the present investigation sought to evaluate multisensory development in a different cortical region and species. Using multiple single-unit recordings in anesthetized ferrets (n=18) of different ages (from postnatal day 80 through 300), we studied the responses of neurons from the rostral posterior parietal area (PPr) to presentations of visual, tactile and combined visual-tactile stimulation. The results showed that multisensory neurons were infrequent at the youngest ages (pre-pubertal) and progressively increased through the later ages. Significant response changes that result from multisensory stimulation (defined as multisensory integration, MSI) were observed in post-pubertal adolescent animals and the magnitude of these integrated responses also increased across this age group. Furthermore, non-significant multisensory response changes were progressively increased in adolescent animals. Collectively, at the population level, MSI was observed to shift from primarily suppressive levels in infants to increasingly higher levels in later stages. These data indicate that, like the unisensory systems from which it is derived, multisensory processing shows developmental changes the specific time course of which may be regionally and species dependent.
16 Feb 2023Submitted to European Journal of Neuroscience
17 Feb 2023Submission Checks Completed
17 Feb 2023Assigned to Editor
17 Feb 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
17 Feb 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
26 Apr 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
20 Jun 20231st Revision Received
21 Jun 2023Submission Checks Completed
21 Jun 2023Assigned to Editor
21 Jun 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
21 Jun 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
03 Jul 2023Editorial Decision: Accept