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Journal Article

Peripheral and central sensation: Multisensory orienting and recognition across species


Zhaoping,  L       
Department of Sensory and Sensorimotor Systems, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Zhaoping, L. (2023). Peripheral and central sensation: Multisensory orienting and recognition across species. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 27(6), 539-552. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2023.03.001.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000C-E767-C
Attentional bottlenecks force animals to deeply process only a selected fraction of sensory inputs. This motivates a unifying central-peripheral dichotomy (CPD), which separates multisensory processing into functionally defined central and peripheral senses. Peripheral senses (e.g., human audition and peripheral vision) select a fraction of the sensory inputs by orienting animals' attention; central senses (e.g., human foveal vision) allow animals to recognize the selected inputs. Originally used to understand human vision, CPD can be applied to multisensory processes across species. I first describe key characteristics of central and peripheral senses, such as the degree of top-down feedback and density of sensory receptors, and then show CPD as a framework to link ecological, behavioral, neurophysiological, and anatomical data and produce falsifiable predictions.