126 | Delving into the claustrum: uncovering its function in learning and memory

Cognition, Behavior, and Memory

Author: Candela Medina | Email: candela.eme@gmail.com

Candela Medina 1°2°, María C Krawczyk , Santiago Ojea Ramos , Mariano M Boccia

1° Laboratorio de Neurofarmacología de Procesos de Memoria, Cátedra de Farmacología, Facultad de Farmacia y Bioquímica, UBA
2° Instituto de Fisiología, Biología Molecular y Neurociencias (IFIBYNE), UBA-CONICET

The claustrum is a brain structure that remains shrouded in mystery due to the limited understanding of its cellular structure, neural pathways, functionality and physiological aspects. Significant research has unveiled connections spanning from the claustrum to the entire cortex as well as subcortical areas. This widespread connectivity has led to speculations of its role in integrating information from different brain regions, possibly contributing to processes such as attention, consciousness, learning and memory. Our working hypothesis posits that claustrum neural activity contributes to the formation, stabilization and updating of long-term memories in mice. Initial findings indicate that intra-claustral administration of Lidocaine immediately after a training session or memory recall leads to a decline in behavioral performance in an inhibitory avoidance task. Nevertheless, this does not seem to be the case for the acquisition or retrieval of this type of memory. Moreover, inhibition of the claustrum’s synaptic activity appears to impair stabilization but not the acquisition or retrieval of an unconditioned memory formed in a hole-board task. Looking ahead, this project aims to delve into the influence of the cholinergic system on these memory processes within the claustrum, investigating both the modulating effects of acetylcholine input and the cholinergic output projecting to other relevant subcortical regions.