The Claustrum

Structural, Functional, and Clinical Neuroscience

Edited by

  • John Smythies, M.D., F.R.C.P., Center for Brain and Cognition, University of California, San Diego, USA
  • Lawrence Edelstein, Ph.D., President/Founder, Medimark Corporation, Del Mar, CA, USA
  • Vilayanur Ramachandran, MBBS, PhD, Hon. FRCP, Director, Center for Brain and Cognition, and Professor, Psychology Department and Neurosciences Program, University of California, San Diego; Adjunct Professor of Biology, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, CA, USA

The present day is witnessing an explosion of our understanding of how the brain works at all levels, in which complexity is piled on complexity, and mechanisms of astonishing elegance are being continually discovered. This process is most developed in the major areas of the brain, such as the cortex, thalamus, and striatum. The Claustrum instead focuses on a small, remote, and, until recently, relatively unknown area of the brain. In recent years, researchers have come to believe that the claustrum is concerned with consciousness, a bold hypothesis supported by the claustrum’s two-way connections with nearly every other region of the brain and its seeming involvement with multisensory integrations-the hallmark of consciousness. The claustrum, previously in a humble position at the back of the stage, might in fact be the conductor of the brain’s orchestra.

The Claustrum brings together leading experts on the claustrum from the varied disciplines of neuroscience, providing a state-of-the-art presentation of what is currently known about the claustrum, promising lines of current research (including epigenetics), and projections of new lines of investigation on the horizon.

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Researchers and advanced students in neuroscience, neurology, neuropsychiatry, and neuropsychology


Book information

  • Published: January 2014
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-404566-8

Table of Contents

1. History of the Study and Nomenclature of the Claustrum
2. The Structure and Connections of the Claustrum
3. The Neurochemical Organization of the Claustrum
4. Development and Evolution of the Claustrum
5. Physiology of the Claustrum
6. Neurocomputation and Coding in the Claustrum: Comparisons with the Pulvinar
7. Structural and Functional Connectivity of the Claustrum in the Human Brain
8. Delayed Development of the Claustrum in Autism
9. The Claustrum in Schizophrenia
10. Clinical Relations: Epilepsy
11. The Claustrum and Alzheimer's Disease
12. Parkinson’s Disease and the Claustrum
13. Hypotheses Relating to the Function of the Claustrum
14. What Is it to Be Conscious?
15. Selected Key Areas for Future Research on the Claustrum