Human olfactory-auditory integration requires phase synchrony between sensory cortices

Guangyu Zhou*, Gregory Lane, Torben Noto, Ghazaleh Arabkheradmand, Jay A. Gottfried, Stephan U. Schuele, Joshua M. Rosenow, Jonas K. Olofsson, Donald A. Wilson, Christina Zelano

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Multisensory integration is particularly important in the human olfactory system, which is highly dependent on non-olfactory cues, yet its underlying neural mechanisms are not well understood. In this study, we use intracranial electroencephalography techniques to record neural activity in auditory and olfactory cortices during an auditory-olfactory matching task. Spoken cues evoke phase locking between low frequency oscillations in auditory and olfactory cortices prior to odor arrival. This phase synchrony occurs only when the participant’s later response is correct. Furthermore, the phase of low frequency oscillations in both auditory and olfactory cortical areas couples to the amplitude of high-frequency oscillations in olfactory cortex during correct trials. These findings suggest that phase synchrony is a fundamental mechanism for integrating cross-modal odor processing and highlight an important role for primary olfactory cortical areas in multisensory integration with the olfactory system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1168
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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