People treated for bilateral congenital cataracts offer a model to study the influence of visual deprivation in early infancy on visual and multisensory development. We investigated cross-modal integration capabilities in cataract patients using a simple detection task that provided redundant information to two different senses. In both patients and controls, redundancy gains were consistent with coactivation models, indicating an integrated processing of modality-specific information. This finding is in contrast with recent studies showing impaired higher-level multisensory interactions in cataract patients. The present results suggest that basic cross-modal integrative processes for simple short stimuli do not depend on visual and/or crossmodal input since birth.
Developmental Neuropsychology, 2012, Vol 37, Issue 8, p. 697-711