Multisensory integration and crossmodal attention have a large impact on how we perceive the world. Therefore, it is important to know under what circumstances these processes take place and how they affect our performance. So far, no consensus has been reached on whether multisensory integration and crossmodal attention operate independently and whether they represent truly automatic processes. This review describes the constraints under which multisensory integration and crossmodal attention occur and in what brain areas these processes take place. Some studies suggest that multisensory integration and crossmodal attention take place in higher heteromodal brain areas, while others show the involvement of early sensory specific areas. Additionally, the current literature suggests that multisensory integration and attention interact depending on what processing level integration takes place. To shed light on this issue, different frameworks regarding the level at which multisensory interactions takes place are discussed. Finally, this review focuses on the question whether audiovisual interactions and crossmodal attention in particular are automatic processes. Recent studies suggest that this is not always the case. Overall, this review provides evidence for a parallel processing framework suggesting that both multisensory integration and attentional processes take place and can interact at multiple stages in the brain. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.