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Many theories abound but most agree that consciousness has to involve the integration of activity from several brain networks, allowing us to perceive our surroundings as one single unifying experience rather than isolated sensory perceptions.
One proponent of this idea was Francis Crick, a pioneering neuroscientist who earlier in his career had identified the structure of DNA. Just days before he died in July 2004, Crick was working on a paper that suggested our consciousness needs something akin to an orchestra conductor to bind all of our different external and internal perceptions together.
The woman has epilepsy so the team were using deep brain electrodes to record signals from different brain regions to work out where her seizures originate. One electrode was positioned next to the claustrum, an area that had never been stimulated before.
When the team zapped the area with high frequency electrical impulses, the woman lost consciousness. She stopped reading and stared blankly into space, she didn't respond to auditory or visual commands and her breathing slowed. As soon as the stimulation stopped, she immediately regained consciousness with no memory of the event. The same thing happened every time the area was stimulated during two days of experiments (Epilepsy and Behavior, doi.org/tgn).
The truly interesting thing about the claustrum, however, is how it can take in multiple information modalities, including motor, visual, and auditory. It has even been shown that the same cells can process information across all these types, even though there is some semblance of segregation across a single type of information.
originally posted by: mbkennel
a reply to: theantediluvian
This experiment doesn't show that the consciousness and sensory intergration is fully IN the claustrum (it could be just part of a larger network), but at least the claustum's functioning is apparently necessary.
Also think about all the UFO "missing-time" scenarios. Transcranial magnetic stimulation of the you know what??