- •The claustrum has been described as a brain structure crucial to the generation of consciousness.
- •A prior single case study reported disruption of consciousness with electrical stimulation close to the human claustrum.
- •We bilaterally stimulated the core of the human claustrum in 5 patients implanted with intracranial electrodes.
- •No changes in subject's awareness were elicited with unilateral or bilateral electrical perturbation of the claustrum.
To probe the causal importance of the claustrum in human subjective experience, we delivered electrical pulses either unilaterally or bilaterally within the core of this structure in five neurosurgical patients implanted with intracranial electrodes. Patients reported subjective experiences in various sensory domains and exhibited reflexive movements after real but not sham stimulations. However, none of the stimulations evoked loss of consciousness or lack of subjective awareness even with strong bilateral stimulations. Our study is the first to probe the effects of electrical perturbation of human claustrum through electrodes implanted within the claustrum itself and provide novel causal information about the human claustrum.
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Published online: June 10, 2019
Accepted: March 30, 2019
Received in revised form: March 23, 2019
Received: December 9, 2018
© 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.