Structural and functional analyses of the human claustrum, a poorly understood telencephalic gray matter structure, are hampered by its sheet-like anatomical arrangement. Here, we first describe a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) method to reveal claustrum signal with no linear relationship with adjacent regions in human subjects. We applied this approach to resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) analysis of the claustrum at high resolution (1.5 mm isotropic voxels) using a 7T dataset (n = 20) and a separate 3T dataset for replication (n = 35). We then assessed claustrum activation during performance of a cognitive task, the multi-source interference task, at 3T (n = 33). Extensive functional connectivity was observed between claustrum and cortical regions associated with cognitive control, including anterior cingulate, prefrontal and parietal cortices. Cognitive task performance was associated with widespread activation and deactivation that overlapped with the cortical areas showing functional connectivity to the claustrum. Furthermore, during high cognitive conflict conditions of the task, the claustrum was significantly activated at the onset of the task, but not during the remainder of the difficult condition. Both of these findings suggest that the human claustrum can be functionally isolated with fMRI, and that it may play a role in cognitive control, and specifically task switching, independent of sensorimotor processing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience