Barry E. Stein, PhD

Barry E. Stein, PhD

Professor and Chair



City University of New York, 1971


Our objective is to understand the neural basis by which the brain is able to integrate information from multiple senses. This process of multisensory integration is highly adaptive. It knits together information from different channels to allow the brain to amplify minimal signals and reduce ambiguity when detecting, identifying and reacting to environmental events. It is also critical to our seamless perceptual experiences.

One practical objective has been to understand how the physiological properties of individual multisensory neurons, and networks of neurons, contribute to these functions. In trying to accomplish our overall aim of understanding the relationship between cellular processes and perception and behavior, we use multidisciplinary anatomical, physiological, behavioral and perceptual approaches. Our lab group has also had a longstanding interest in how the brain develops the capacity to synthesize information from different senses and, specifically, how early sensory experiences craft the circuits underlying multisensory integration to ensure that the resultant product is well adapted to the environment. 

Selected Publications

Jiang, H., Stein, B.E, and McHaffie, J.G. Opposing basal ganglia processes shape midbrain visuomotor activity bilaterally. Nature 423: 982-986, 2003.

Wallace, M.T., Ramachandran, R. and Stein, B.E. A new view of sensory cortical parcellation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci 101(7): 2167-2172, 2004.

Wallace, M.T., Perrault, T.P., Hairston, W.D. and Stein, B.E. Visual experience is necessary for the development of multisensory integration. J. Neurosci. 24: 9580-9584, 2004.

Stein, B.E.  The development of a dialogue between cortex and midbrain to integrate multisensory information.  Exp. Brain Res. 166: 305-315, 2005.

Stanford, T.R., Quessy, S., and Stein, B.E.  Evaluating the operations underlying multisensory integration in cat superior colliculus.  J. Neurosci.  25(28): 6499-6508, 2005.

Alvarado, J.C., Vaughan, J.W., Stanford, T.R., and Stein, B.E.  Multisensory versus unisensory integration: contrasting modes in the superior colliculus.  J. Neurophysiol. 97: 3193-3205, 2007.

Rowland, B.A., Quessy, S., Stanford, T.R., and Stein, B.E.  Multisensory integration shortens physiological response latencies.  J. Neurosci. 27: 5879-5884, 2007.

Jiang, W., Jiang, H., Rowland, B.A., and Stein, B.E.  Multisensory orientation behavior is disrupted by neonatal cortical ablation.  J. Neurophysiol. 97(1): 557-562, 2007.

Rowland, B.A., Stanford, T.R., and Stein, B.E.  A model of the neural mechanisms underlying multisensory integration in the superior colliculus.  Perception [Special Issue on Multisensory Integration] 36: 1431-1443, 2007.

Alvarado, J.C., Stanford, T.R., Vaughan, J.W., and Stein, B.E.  Cortex mediates multisensory but not unisensory integration in superior colliculus.  J. Neurosci. 27(47): 12775-12786, 2007.

Rowland, B.A. and Stein, B.E.  Multisensory integration produces an initial response enhancement.  Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience 1(4): 1-8, 2007.

Stein, B.E. and Stanford, T.R.  Multisensory integration: current issues from the perspective of the single neuron.  Nature Rev. Neurosci. 9(4): 255-266, 2008.

Fuentes-Santamaria, V., Alvarado, J.C., McHaffie, J.G., and Stein, B.E.  Axon morphologies and convergence patterns of projections from different sensory-specific cortices of the anterior ectosylvian sulcus onto multisensory neurons in the cat superior colliculus.  Cerebral Cortex 19(12): 2902-2915, 2009.

Gingras, G., Rowland, B.A., and Stein, B.E. The differing impact of multisensory and unisensory integration on behavior.  J. Neurosci.  29(15): 4897-4902, 2009.

Jiang, H., Stein, B.E., and McHaffie, J.G.  Cortical lesion-induced visual hemineglect is prevented by NMDA antagonist pretreatment.  J. Neurosci.29(21): 6917-6925, 2009.

Alvarado, J.C., Stanford, T.R., Rowland, B.A., Vaughan, J.W., and Stein, B.E.  Multisensory integration in the superior colliculus requires synergy among corticocollicular inputs.  J. Neurosci. 29(20): 6580-6592, 2009.

Stein, B.E., Stanford, T.R., Ramachandran, R., Perrault Jr., T.J., and Rowland, B.A. Challenges in quantifying multisensory integration: Alternative criteria, models, and inverse effectiveness.  Exp Brain Res. 198: 113-126, 2009.

Stein, B.E., Stanford, T.R., and Rowland, B.A.  The neural basis of multisensory integration in the midbrain:  Its organization and maturation.  Hearing Research 258(1-2): 4-15, 2009.

Stein, B.E., Perrault, Jr., T.J., Stanford, T.R., and Rowland, B.A.  Postnatal experiences influence how the brain integrates information from different senses.  Front. Integr. Neurosci. 3(21): 1-12, 2009.

Yu, L., Stein, B.E., and Rowland, B.A.  Adult plasticity in multisensory neurons: Short-term experience-dependent changes in the superior colliculus.  J. Neurosci. 29(50): 15910-15922, 2009.

Cuppini, C., Ursino, M., Magosso, E., Rowland, B.A., and Stein, B.E.  An emergent model of multisensory integration in superior colliculus neurons.  Front. Integr. Neurosci. 4(6): 1-15, 2010.

Yu, L., Rowland, B.A., and Stein, B.E.  Initiating the development of multisensory integration by manipulating sensory experience.  J. Neurosci. 30(14): 4904-4913, 2010.

Stein, B.E., Burr, D., Constantinidis, C., Laurienti, P.J., Meredith, M.A., Perrault, Jr., T.J., Ramachandran, R., Röder, B., Rowland, B.A., Sathian, K., Schroeder, C.E., Shams, L., Stanford, T.R., Wallace, M.T., Yu , L., and Lewkowicz, D.J.  Semantic confusion regarding the development of multisensory integration: A practical solution.  Eur. J. Neurosci.  31: 1713-1720, 2010.

Perrault, Jr., T.J., Stein, B.E., and Rowland, B.A.  Non-stationarity in multisensory neurons in the superior colliculus.  Front. Psych. 2: 1-6, 2011.

Cuppini, C., Stein, B.E., Rowland, B.A., Magosso, E., and Ursino, M.  A computational study of multisensory maturation in the superior colliculus (SC).  Exp. Brain Res. 213: 341-349, 2011.

Stein, B.E. and Rowland, B.A.  Organization and plasticity in multisensory integration:  Early and late experience affects its governing principles.  Prog. Brain Res. 191: 145-163, 2011.

Pluta, S.R., Rowland, B.A., Stanford, T.R., and Stein, B.E.  Alterations to multisensory and unisensory integration by stimulus competition.  J. Neurophysiol. 106: 3091-3101, 2011.

Jiang, H., Stein, B.E., and McHaffie, J.G.  Physiological evidence for a trans-basal ganglia pathway linking extrastriate visual cortex and the superior colliculus.  J. Physiol. 589: 5785-5799, 2011.

Xu, J., Yu, L., Rowland, B.A., Stanford, T.R., and Stein, B.E.  Incorporating cross-modal statistics in the development and maintenance of multisensory integration.  J. Neurosci. 32(7): 2287-2298, 2012.

Cuppini, C., Magosso, E., Rowland, B., Stein, B., and Ursino, M.  Hebbian mechanisms help explain development of multisensory integration in the superior colliculus:  a neural network model.  Biol. Cybern. 106: 691-713, 2012.

Yu, L., Rowland, B.A., Xu, J., and Stein, B.E.  Multisensory plasticity in adulthood:  Cross-modal experience enhances neuronal excitability and exposes silent inputs.  J. Neurophysiol. 109: 464-474, 2013.

Yu, L., Xu, J., Rowland, B.A., and Stein, B.E.  Development of cortical influences on superior colliculus multisensory neurons:  effects of dark-rearing.  Eur. J. Neurosci. 37(10): 1594-1601, 2013.

Rowland, B.A. and Stein, B.E.  A model of the temporal dynamics of multisensory enhancement.  Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 41C: 78-84, 2014.

Xu, J., Yu, L., Rowland, B.A., Stanford, T.R., and Stein, B.E.  Noise-rearing disrupts the maturation of multisensory integration.  Eur. J. Neurosci. 39(4): 602-613, 2014.

Rowland, B.A., Jiang W., and Stein, B.E. Brief cortical deactivation early in life has long-lasting effects on multisensory behavior.  J. Neurosci. 34(21): 7198-7202, 2014.

Stein, B.E., Stanford, T.R., and Rowland, B.A.  Development of multisensory integration from the perspective of the individual neuron.  Nature Reviews Neuroscience 15: 520-535, 2014.



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Neurobiology & Anatomy

Phone 336-716-4368

Dr. Barry E. Stein

Dr. Barry E. Stein, Chairman
Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Medical Center Boulevard
Winston-Salem, NC  27157-1010
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