Mark T. Wallace, Ph.D.


Visit Lab Site

Faculty Appointments
Director Vanderbilt Brain Institute Professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences Professor of PsychologyLouise B. McGavock ChairProfessor of Psychiatry
Ph.D., Neurobiology , Temple University, Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaM.A., Temple University, Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaB.A., Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Office Address
Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Ctr
Nashville, TN 8242
Research Description
Multisensory processing, sensorimotor transformations, perception, dyslexia

Our lab is interested in better understanding how the brain synthesizes information from multiple sensory systems (e.g., vision, hearing, touch). Given that we are continually bombarded with sensory information, it seems intuitively obvious that one important brain function is to synthesize this multisensory information. Such multisensory integration enhances our ability to react to external events, as well as enriching our perception of those events and of the world. Nonetheless, despite the ubiquity and utility of multisensory processes, surprisingly little is known about their neural bases when compared with the individual sensory systems that contribute to them. Using a multidisciplinary approach, our lab seeks to fill this knowledge gap. A sampling of the techniques in use in the lab includes: animal behavior, neurophysiological recordings from single neurons and ensembles of neurons, neuroanatomical tract tracing, human psychophysics and fMRI. Currently, we are pursuing a number of questions related to multisensory processes. These include: (1) the development of cortical multisensory circuits, (2) developmental and adult plasticity in these circuits, (3) how multisensory signals are transformed into appropriate motor commands, (4) multisensory influences on normal human perception and performance, and (5) how abnormal multisensory processing may contribute to certain neurodevelopmental disabilities (e.g., dyslexia).

**** Inquiries from potential graduate students are welcome and encouraged****

For more information, see
Research Keywords
Multisensory processing, sensorimotor transformations, perception, dyslexia
Krueger J, Royal DW, Fister MC, Wallace MT. Spatial receptive field organization of multisensory neurons and its impact on multisensory interactions. Hear. Res [print-electronic]. 2009 Dec; 258(1-2): 47-54. PMID: 19698773, PMCID: PMC2787656, PII: S0378-5955(09)00197-X, DOI: 10.1016/j.heares.2009.08.003, ISSN: 1878-5891.

Powers AR, Hillock AR, Wallace MT. Perceptual training narrows the temporal window of multisensory binding. J. Neurosci. 2009 Sep 9/30/2009; 29(39): 12265-74. PMID: 19793985, PMCID: PMC2771316, PII: 29/39/12265, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3501-09.2009, ISSN: 1529-2401.

Royal DW, Carriere BN, Wallace MT. Spatiotemporal architecture of cortical receptive fields and its impact on multisensory interactions. Exp Brain Res [print-electronic]. 2009 Sep; 198(2-3): 127-36. PMID: 19308362, PMCID: PMC3637793, DOI: 10.1007/s00221-009-1772-y, ISSN: 1432-1106.

Wallace MT. Dyslexia: bridging the gap between hearing and reading. Curr. Biol. 2009 Mar 3/24/2009; 19(6): R260-2. PMID: 19321145, PMCID: PMC4013749, PII: S0960-9822(09)00595-8, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.01.025, ISSN: 1879-0445.

Polley DB, Hillock AR, Spankovich C, Popescu MV, Royal DW, Wallace MT. Development and plasticity of intra- and intersensory information processing. J Am Acad Audiol. 2008 Nov; 19(10): 780-98. PMID: 19358458, PMCID: PMC3639492, ISSN: 1050-0545.

Carriere BN, Royal DW, Wallace MT. Spatial heterogeneity of cortical receptive fields and its impact on multisensory interactions. J. Neurophysiol [print-electronic]. 2008 May; 99(5): 2357-68. PMID: 18287544, PMCID: PMC3637795, PII: 01386.2007, DOI: 10.1152/jn.01386.2007, ISSN: 0022-3077.

Carriere BN, Royal DW, Perrault TJ, Morrison SP, Vaughan JW, Stein BE, Wallace MT. Visual deprivation alters the development of cortical multisensory integration. J. Neurophysiol [print-electronic]. 2007 Nov; 98(5): 2858-67. PMID: 17728386, PII: 00587.2007, DOI: 10.1152/jn.00587.2007, ISSN: 0022-3077.

Wallace MT, Stein BE. Early experience determines how the senses will interact. J. Neurophysiol [print-electronic]. 2007 Jan; 97(1): 921-6. PMID: 16914616, PII: 00497.2006, DOI: 10.1152/jn.00497.2006, ISSN: 0022-3077.

Wallace MT, Carriere BN, Perrault TJ, Vaughan JW, Stein BE. The development of cortical multisensory integration. J. Neurosci. 2006 Nov 11/15/2006; 26(46): 11844-9. PMID: 17108157, PII: 26/46/11844, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3295-06.2006, ISSN: 1529-2401.

Laurienti PJ, Burdette JH, Maldjian JA, Wallace MT. Enhanced multisensory integration in older adults. Neurobiol. Aging [print-electronic]. 2006 Aug; 27(8): 1155-63. PMID: 16039016, PII: S0197-4580(05)00160-0, DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2005.05.024, ISSN: 1558-1497.

Hairston WD, Burdette JH, Flowers DL, Wood FB, Wallace MT. Altered temporal profile of visual-auditory multisensory interactions in dyslexia. Exp Brain Res [print-electronic]. 2005 Oct; 166(3-4): 474-80. PMID: 16028030, DOI: 10.1007/s00221-005-2387-6, ISSN: 0014-4819.

Laurienti PJ, Perrault TJ, Stanford TR, Wallace MT, Stein BE. On the use of superadditivity as a metric for characterizing multisensory integration in functional neuroimaging studies. Exp Brain Res [print-electronic]. 2005 Oct; 166(3-4): 289-97. PMID: 15988597, DOI: 10.1007/s00221-005-2370-2, ISSN: 0014-4819.

Perrault TJ, Vaughan JW, Stein BE, Wallace MT. Superior colliculus neurons use distinct operational modes in the integration of multisensory stimuli. J. Neurophysiol [print-electronic]. 2005 May; 93(5): 2575-86. PMID: 15634709, PII: 00926.2004, DOI: 10.1152/jn.00926.2004, ISSN: 0022-3077.

Wallace MT, Perrault TJ, Hairston WD, Stein BE. Visual experience is necessary for the development of multisensory integration. J. Neurosci. 2004 Oct 10/27/2004; 24(43): 9580-4. PMID: 15509745, PII: 24/43/9580, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2535-04.2004, ISSN: 1529-2401.

Laurienti PJ, Kraft RA, Maldjian JA, Burdette JH, Wallace MT. Semantic congruence is a critical factor in multisensory behavioral performance. Exp Brain Res [print-electronic]. 2004 Oct; 158(4): 405-14. PMID: 15221173, DOI: 10.1007/s00221-004-1913-2, ISSN: 0014-4819.

Wallace MT, Roberson GE, Hairston WD, Stein BE, Vaughan JW, Schirillo JA. Unifying multisensory signals across time and space. Exp Brain Res [print-electronic]. 2004 Sep; 158(2): 252-8. PMID: 15112119, DOI: 10.1007/s00221-004-1899-9, ISSN: 0014-4819.

Wallace MT, Ramachandran R, Stein BE. A revised view of sensory cortical parcellation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A [print-electronic]. 2004 Feb 2/17/2004; 101(7): 2167-72. PMID: 14766982, PMCID: PMC357070, PII: 0305697101, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0305697101, ISSN: 0027-8424.

Burnett LR, Stein BE, Chaponis D, Wallace MT. Superior colliculus lesions preferentially disrupt multisensory orientation. Neuroscience. 2004; 124(3): 535-47. PMID: 14980725, PII: S0306452203009382, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2003.12.026, ISSN: 0306-4522.

Wallace MT.. The development of multisensory processes. Cogn. Processing. 2004; 5: 69-83.

Perrault TJ, Vaughan JW, Stein BE, Wallace MT. Neuron-specific response characteristics predict the magnitude of multisensory integration. J. Neurophysiol [print-electronic]. 2003 Dec; 90(6): 4022-6. PMID: 12930816, PII: 00494.2003, DOI: 10.1152/jn.00494.2003, ISSN: 0022-3077.

Hairston WD, Laurienti PJ, Mishra G, Burdette JH, Wallace MT. Multisensory enhancement of localization under conditions of induced myopia. Exp Brain Res [print-electronic]. 2003 Oct; 152(3): 404-8. PMID: 14504674, DOI: 10.1007/s00221-003-1646-7, ISSN: 0014-4819.

Laurienti PJ, Wallace MT, Maldjian JA, Susi CM, Stein BE, Burdette JH. Cross-modal sensory processing in the anterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortices. Hum Brain Mapp. 2003 Aug; 19(4): 213-23. PMID: 12874776, DOI: 10.1002/hbm.10112, ISSN: 1065-9471.

Hairston WD, Wallace MT, Vaughan JW, Stein BE, Norris JL, Schirillo JA. Visual localization ability influences cross-modal bias. J Cogn Neurosci. 2003 Jan 1/1/2003; 15(1): 20-9. PMID: 12590840, DOI: 10.1162/089892903321107792, ISSN: 0898-929X.

Wallace MT.. Cross-Modal Neural Development. In: Connectionist Models of Development, P. Quinlan (ed.). Psychology Press. 2003; 311-43.

Laurienti PJ, Burdette JH, Wallace MT, Yen YF, Field AS, Stein BE. Deactivation of sensory-specific cortex by cross-modal stimuli. J Cogn Neurosci. 2002 Apr 4/1/2002; 14(3): 420-9. PMID: 11970801, DOI: 10.1162/089892902317361930, ISSN: 0898-929X.

Stein BE, Wallace MT, Stanford TR, and Jiang W.. Cortex governs multisensory integration in the midbrain. Neuroscientist. 2002; 8: 206-314.

Roberson G, Wallace MT, and Schirillo J.. The sensorimotor contingency of multisensory localization correlates with the conscious percept of spatial unity. Behav. Brain Sci. 2002; 24((5)): 239-40.

Wallace MT, Stein BE. Sensory and multisensory responses in the newborn monkey superior colliculus. J. Neurosci. 2001 Nov 11/15/2001; 21(22): 8886-94. PMID: 11698600, PII: 21/22/8886, ISSN: 1529-2401.

Jiang W, Wallace MT, Jiang H, Vaughan JW, Stein BE. Two cortical areas mediate multisensory integration in superior colliculus neurons. J. Neurophysiol. 2001 Feb; 85(2): 506-22. PMID: 11160489, ISSN: 0022-3077.

Stein BE, Jiang W, Wallace MT, Stanford TR. Nonvisual influences on visual-information processing in the superior colliculus. Prog. Brain Res. 2001; 134: 143-56. PMID: 11702540, ISSN: 0079-6123.

Kadunce DC, Vaughan JW, Wallace MT, and Stein BE.. The influence of visual and auditory receptive field organization on multisensory integration in the superior colliculus. Exp. Brain Res. 2001; 139: 303-10.

Stein BE, Jiang W, Wallace MT, and Stanford TR.. Nonvisual influences on visual information processing in the superior colliculus. Prog. Brain Res. 2001; 134: 143-56.

Wallace MT, Stein BE. Onset of cross-modal synthesis in the neonatal superior colliculus is gated by the development of cortical influences. J. Neurophysiol. 2000 Jun; 83(6): 3578-82. PMID: 10848574, ISSN: 0022-3077.

Stein BE, Wallace MT, and Stanford TR.. Development of multisensory integration: transforming sensory input into motor output. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews. 1999; 5((1)): 72-85.

Wallace MT, Meredith MA, Stein BE. Multisensory integration in the superior colliculus of the alert cat. J. Neurophysiol. 1998 Aug; 80(2): 1006-10. PMID: 9705489, ISSN: 0022-3077.

Kadunce DC, Vaughan JW, Wallace MT, Benedek G, Stein BE. Mechanisms of within- and cross-modality suppression in the superior colliculus. J. Neurophysiol. 1997 Dec; 78(6): 2834-47. PMID: 9405504, ISSN: 0022-3077.

Wallace MT, McHaffie JG, Stein BE. Visual response properties and visuotopic representation in the newborn monkey superior colliculus. J. Neurophysiol. 1997 Nov; 78(5): 2732-41. PMID: 9356422, ISSN: 0022-3077.

Wallace MT, Stein BE. Development of multisensory neurons and multisensory integration in cat superior colliculus. J. Neurosci. 1997 Apr 4/1/1997; 17(7): 2429-44. PMID: 9065504, ISSN: 0270-6474.

Wallace MT, Wilkinson LK, Stein BE. Representation and integration of multiple sensory inputs in primate superior colliculus. J. Neurophysiol. 1996 Aug; 76(2): 1246-66. PMID: 8871234, ISSN: 0022-3077.

Wallace MT, Stein BE. Sensory organization of the superior colliculus in cat and monkey. Prog. Brain Res. 1996; 112: 301-11. PMID: 8979837, ISSN: 0079-6123.

Stein BE, Wallace MT. Comparisons of cross-modality integration in midbrain and cortex. Prog. Brain Res. 1996; 112: 289-99. PMID: 8979836, ISSN: 0079-6123.

Lovelace CT, Stein BE and Wallace MT.. An irrelevant light enhances auditory detection in humans: A psychophysical analysis of multisensory integration in stimulus detection. Cogn. Brain Res. 17: 447-53.