Claustrum and consciousness (IM 791)

Francis Crick and his colleague Christof Koch studied consciousness by focusing on the function of obscure structure called claustrum.

The claustrum is a thin sheet of cells underlying in the insular cortex of human brain, one on each hemisphere. The main function of claustrum is still uncertain but the structural and functional streamlining might ensure that when the waves of information come through claustrum, its neuron will be sensitive to the timing of the inputs.

But how is it related with the consciousness? Consciousness is self-awareness and deals the present moment or the memories as a unity. It attributes present “just” and “now” situation.

Just like consciousness, claustrum unify all the information in the brain. It unifies everything anatomically and consciousness does so mentally. Crick and Koch recognized that this is not coincidence. Their intuition was that claustrum may be the central to consciousness.

Obviously this analogy has no scientific proof but we might be too wrong to ignore it.

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