Delayed escape behavior requires claustral activity

Cell Rep. 2024 Feb 27;43(2):113748. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2024.113748. Epub 2024 Feb 6.


Animals are known to exhibit innate and learned forms of defensive behaviors, but it is unclear whether animals can escape through methods other than these forms. In this study, we develop the delayed escape task, in which male rats temporarily hold the information required for future escape, and we demonstrate that this task, in which the subject extrapolates from past experience without direct experience of its behavioral outcome, does not fall into either of the two forms of behavior. During the holding period, a subset of neurons in the rostral-to-striatum claustrum (rsCla), only when pooled together, sustain enhanced population activity without ongoing sensory stimuli. Transient inhibition of rsCla neurons during the initial part of the holding period produces prolonged inhibition of the enhanced activity. The transient inhibition also attenuates the delayed escape behavior. Our data suggest that the rsCla activity bridges escape-inducing stimuli to the delayed onset of escape.

Keywords: CP: Neuroscience; claustrum; defensive behaviors; persistent activity; rats; working memory.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Claustrum*
  • Corpus Striatum
  • Learning
  • Male
  • Neostriatum
  • Neurons
  • Rats