Spatial localization of sound elicits early responses from occipital visual cortex in humans, Sci Rep, 1 (7), 10415.
Much evidence points to an interaction between vision and audition at early cortical sites. However, the functional role of these interactions is not yet understood. Here we show an early response of the occipital cortex to sound that it is strongly linked to the spatial localization task performed by the observer. The early occipital response to a sound, usually absent, increased by more than 10-fold when presented during a space localization task, but not during a time localization task. The response amplification was not only specific to the task, but surprisingly also to the position of the stimulus in the two hemifields. We suggest that early occipital processing of sound is linked to the construction of an audio spatial map that may utilize the visual map of the occipital cortex.