Publication: THE CLAUSTRUM IS INVOLVED IN COGNITIVE PROCESSES RELATED TO THE CLASSICAL CONDITIONING OF EYELID RESPONSES IN BEHAVING RABBITS
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Oxford University Press
It is assumed that the claustrum (CL) is involved in sensorimotor integration and cognitive processes.We recorded the firing activity of identified CL neurons during classical eyeblink conditioning in rabbits, using a delay paradigm in which a tone was presented as conditioned stimulus (CS), followed by a corneal air puff as unconditioned stimulus (US). Neurons were identified by their activation from motor (MC), cingulate (CC), and medial prefrontal (mPFC) cortices. CL neurons were rarely activated by single stimuli of any modality. In contrast, their firing was significantly modulated during the first sessions of paired CS/US presentations, but not in well-trained animals. Neuron firing rates did not correlate with the kinematics of conditioned responses (CRs). CL local field potentials (LFPs) changed their spectral power across learning and presented well-differentiated CL–mPFC/CL–MC network dynamics, as shown by crossfrequency spectral measurements. CL electrical stimulation did not evoke eyelid responses, even in trained animals. Silencing of synaptic transmission of CL neurons by the vINSIST method delayed the acquisition of CRs but did not affect their presentation rate. The CL plays an important role in the acquisition of associative learning,mostly in relation to the novelty of CS/US association, but not in the expression of CRs.
El estudio ha permitido concluir que el claustro cumple un importante papel en las funciones cognitivas cerebrales, sobre todo en los aspectos referentes a la novedad, relevancia e importancia vital de los estímulos sensoriales presentes en nuestro entorno. Al mismo tiempo, el estudio sugiere que en los procesos cognitivos intervienen de forma coordinada otras estructuras cerebrales, aparte del claustro. Este pionero experimento abre camino para ulteriores estudios relacionados con la actividad cerebral que subyace a los procesos mentales y cognitivos.
Cerebral Cortex, vol 31, nº 1, p. 281-300