what is the claustrum science for all

what is the claustrum science for all

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Nestled within the brain’s surface, or the cortex, is a structure that puzzles scientists. Claustrum in Greek means ‘hidden away’, and it looks like a thin, irregular sheet of gray matter, one sheet on each side of the head, concealed between the inner surface of the neocortex.

The claustrum has long been known to exchange signals with much of the cortex, which plays a significant role in higher reasoning and complex thought. The claustrum was once supposed to be ‘the seat of consciousness,’ however new work interprets it to be more like a high-speed internet router, taking in executive commands from “boss” areas of the brain’s cortex that forms complex thoughts to generate “ networks” in the cortex. Acting like a router, the claustrum coordinates these networks to work together to accomplish the many different cognitively demanding tasks we perform on a moment-to-moment basis in everyday life.

Understanding brain networks and how they may be altered is important to understand addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, and schizophrenia.

Whether the claustrum has a role to play in consciousness or not, there is relatively wide consensus that it lies at the confluence of a large number of simple loops with cortex. This widespread and reciprocal connectivity with many, if not most, cortical regions raises the question of why is all this information brought together, since this involves most of the loops being much longer than if the claustrum lay more uniformly under the cortex? Even more unusually, there appears to be no long-range connections within the claustrum.

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