Claustrum, consciousness, and time perception

  • Yin B
  • Terhune D
  • Smythies J
 et al. 
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The claustrum has been proposed as a possible neural candidate for the coordination of conscious experience due to its extensive 'connectome'. Herein we propose that the claustrum contributes to consciousness by supporting the temporal integration of cortical oscillations in response to multisensory input. A close link between conscious awareness and interval timing is suggested by models of consciousness and conjunctive changes in meta-awareness and timing in multiple contexts and conditions. Using the striatal beat-frequency model of interval timing as a framework, we propose that the claustrum integrates varying frequencies of neural oscillations in different sensory cortices into a coherent pattern that binds different and overlapping temporal percepts into a unitary conscious representation. The proposed coordination of the striatum and claustrum allows for time-based dimensions of multisensory integration and decision-making to be incorporated into consciousness.

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  • Bin Yin

  • Devin B. Terhune

  • John Smythies

  • Warren H. Meck

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