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Title page for ETD etd-05122008-115234

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Mathur, Brian N.
URN etd-05122008-115234
Title Unraveling the Seat of Consciousness: Anatomical Redefinition and Molecular Characterization of the Claustrum
Degree PhD
Department Neuroscience
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Elaine Sanders-Bush Committee Chair
Ariel Y. Deutch Committee Member
Ford F. Ebner Committee Member
Richard M. Caprioli Committee Member
  • tract tracing
  • connectivity
  • function
  • GNG2
  • anatomy
  • Claustrum
  • immunohistochemistry
  • G proteins
Date of Defense 2008-04-30
Availability unrestricted
The claustrum is a telencephalic grey matter nucleus of unclear structure and function, although it has been recently proposed to be a generator of conscious percepts. Our studies redefine the structural boundaries and connections of the claustrum in the rat, as well as provide evidence for an equivalent redefinition of claustral anatomy in all therian mammal brains, including human. An analysis of cortical representations in the claustrum are also presented and the findings are considered in a functional context. Finally, G protein gamma-2 is identified as a novel and discrete neuroanatomical marker of the claustrum whose expression pattern is in register with the our anatomical definitions. The results of this work alter long-held tenets of claustral anatomy and allow for an assessment of claustral function through molecular lesioning techniques targeting G protein gamma-2.
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