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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2005 Feb;15(1):121-8.

Young and excitable: the function of new neurons in the adult mammalian brain.

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Departments of Pathology, Neurology and Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, Columbia University, 630W 168th Street, NY, NY 10032, USA.


Adult neurogenesis occurs in most species and is regulated by a wide variety of environmental and pharmacological challenges. The functional integration of neurons generated in the adult was first demonstrated in songbirds more than two decades ago. In the adult mammalian brain, neurons are continuously generated in two structures, the olfactory bulb and the hippocampus. Current evidence suggests that adult-born immature neurons have distinct electrophysiological properties from old neurons, and proposed roles in a variety of functions including olfaction, learning and mood regulation.

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