Sensory integration is the process by which sensations from the body or the external environment are integrated. Stimuli from different sense organs are processed in different areas of the brain (1). Sensory integration was first studied in the 1930s by Dr. Wilder Penfield, who, in looking for a solution to his patients’ epileptic seizures, began to use electrodes to stimulate the different regions of their brain. In doing so, he found that his patients experienced different sensations when different portions of their brain were stimulated (2).
(1) Macaluso, E., Driver, J. (2005). “Multisensory spatial interactions: a window onto functional integration in the human brain.” Trends in Neurosciences 28: 263–271
(2) Seth, A. K., Dienes, Z, Cleeremans, A., Overgaard, M., Pessoa, L. (2008). “Measuring consciousness: relating behavioural and neurophysiological approaches“. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 12 (8): 314–321.