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Technological University Dublin


To navigate the world in an efficient manner, the brain seamlessly integrates signals received across multiple sensory modalities. Behavioral studies have suggested that multisensory processing is a winner-take-all sensory response mechanism to some optimal combination of sensory signals. In addition, multiple sensory cues are not always beneficial with some studies showing maladaptive multisensory processing as an identifier of older adults prone to falls from age matched healthy controls.

A stalwart of modelling sensory decision-making is the work by (Wong &Wang, 2006) but to date almost all of this research has been focused on unisensory tasks. We extend the reduced two-variable model developed to model an audio-visual speeded reaction-time task. This model consists of a system of ordinary differential equations motivated by biological data to simulate both unisensory and multisensory processing and behavioral responses.

The model includes noise to account for trial-to-trial variability and by sampling from a set of model parameters we simulated different ‘participants’ sensory processing. With these straightforward manipulations the model replicates data from multisensory behavioral studies. The results show how biologically motivated mathematical models can be used to probe the potential mechanisms responsible for the observed differences in unisensory and multisensory responses.

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multisensory, mathematical models, audio-visual, reaction-time, differential equations, simulations, drift-diffusion


Applied Mathematics | Computer Sciences


First Annual Teaching and Research Showcase 2023


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

Application of the Two-Variable Model to Simulate a Multisensory Reaction-Time Task



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