With the emergence of interest in studying the claustrum, a recent special issue of the Journal of Comparative Neurology dedicated to the claustrum (Volume 525, Issue 6, pp. 1313–1513) brought to light questions concerning the relationship between the claustrum (CLA) and a region immediately ventral known as the endopiriform nucleus (En). These structures have been identified as separate entities in rodents but appear as a single continuous structure in primates. During the recent Society for Claustrum Research meeting, a panel of experts presented data pertaining to the relationship of these regions and held a discussion on whether the CLA and En should be considered (a) separate unrelated structures, (b) separate nuclei within the same formation, or (c) subregions of a continuous structure. This review article summarizes that discussion, presenting comparisons of the cytoarchitecture, neurochemical profiles, genetic markers, and anatomical connectivity of the CLA and En across several mammalian species. In rodents, we conclude that the CLA and the dorsal endopiriform nucleus (DEn) are subregions of a larger complex, which likely performs analogous computations and exert similar effects on their respective cortical targets (e.g., sensorimotor versus limbic). Moving forward, we recommend that the field retain the nomenclature currently employed for this region but should continue to examine the delineation of these structures across different species. Using thorough descriptions of a variety of anatomical features, this review offers a clear definition of the CLA and En in rodents, which provides a framework for identifying homologous structures in primates.
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