The Conscious Claustrum

NeuWrite San Diego

Consciousness and Crick

The definition of consciousness, as a biological phenomenon, remains contested. Some definitions consider language necessary for consciousness, while for others, more basic aspects of experience suffice. Only recently has the study of consciousness been broached by “respectable neuroscientists”, where it had previously been the realm of more philosophical disciplines. For the purposes of this article, we will define consciousness as the experience of awareness of our own thoughts and internal state, in response to, and in interaction with the world around us. What can neurobiology tell us about the source of this experience?


The idea that the claustrum might be the seat of consciousness in the brain was strongly advocated by the same man, Francis Crick, who is credited with the discovery of DNA and its function. In a Nature Review, Charles Stevens suggests that Crick’s belief in the importance of this brain structure “bordered on…

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Author: Shane O'Mara

Neuroscientist

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