Visual and somatosensory processing in the macaque temporal cortex: the role of 'expectation'

A. J. Mistlin, D. I. Perrett*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


The somatosensory and visual properties of cells in a polymodal region of temporal cortex were studied in 4 awake behaving macaque monkeys. When stimulated passively and out of sight, cells with tactile responses were found to have very large receptive fields covering most of the body surface and an apparent lack of selectivity for size, shape or texture of the tactile stimulus. These properties are equivalent to those described for the anaesthetized preparation (Bruce et al. 1981). Our study revealed that tactile responses were influenced by the degree to which stimuli could be 'expected'. Tactile stimulation arising from active exploration of novel surfaces produced vigourous neuronal responses but equivalent stimulation of the skin arising when the monkey contacted 'expected' surfaces such as itself or items with which it had become familiar produced no responses. The responses of cells to active or passive tactile stimulation were attenuated when the monkey could see the objects causing the stimulation. For cells responsive to more than one sensory modality, visual and somatosensory responses were associated in a compatible manner. Cells responsive to the onset of touch were selective for the sight of objects moving towards the monkey, whereas cells selective for the offset of touch were responsive to the sight of movements away from the monkey.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-450
Number of pages14
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1990


  • Crossmodal association
  • Expectation
  • Macaque
  • Single unit
  • Somatosensory processing
  • Temporal cortex


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