Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

This review addresses the question of when spatial coincidence facilitates multisensory integration in humans. According to the spatial rule (which was first formulated on the basis of neurophysiological data in anesthetized animals), multisensory integration is enhanced when stimuli in different sensory modalities are presented from the same spatial location. While the spatial rule fits with the available data from studies of overt and covert spatial attentional orienting, and from the majority of those studies in which space has been somehow relevant to the participant's task, it is inconsistent with the evidence that has emerged from the majority of multisensory studies of stimulus identification and temporal perception. Such a mixed pattern of behavioral results suggests that the spatial rule does not represent a general constraint on multisensory integration in humans. Instead, it would appear to be a much more task-dependent phenomenon than is often realized. These results, however, are broadly consistent with a distinction between the processing of "where" and "what" (or "how") information processing in the human brain.

Original publication




Journal article


Ann N Y Acad Sci

Publication Date





31 - 49


audition, multisensory integration, spatial attention, the spatial rule, touch, vision, Animals, Humans, Models, Neurological, Nerve Net, Sensation, Space Perception