What is the claustrum? 

The claustrum is a thin irregular sheet of grey matter located sagitally between the external capsule and the extreme capsule fibre tracts. The connectivity of the claustrum has not been extensively determined, however it appears to have connections with almost all cortical regions, as well as some subcortical connections such as the hippocampus, amygdala and basal ganglia. The function of the claustrum is also largely unclear, but may be involved in some functions of the neighbouring insula. The widespread connectivity of the claustrum places it in a prime position for multimodal integration and processing of perceptual, cognitive and motor capacities. Definitive understanding of the function of the claustrum is somewhat limited by the spatial resolution of current imaging technologies. Likewise, singular inactivation of the claustrum (whether pharmacologically or surgically) for inferring function is difficult, as the claustrum is at most only a few millimetres wide.

What is the evidence for claustrum alterations?

Moderate quality evidence found greater reduction in the right claustrum in people with treatment naïve, first-episode schizophrenia compared to people with treated first-episode schizophrenia or compared to people without schizophrenia. People with schizophrenia also showed reduced functional activity in the bilateral claustrum during executive function tasks compared to people without schizophrenia.

October 2020

Last updated at: 3:23 am, 31st October 2020
To view documentation related to this topic download the files below
Fact Sheet Technical Commentary

NeuRA Libraries

Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.