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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2010 May;11(5):339-50. doi: 10.1038/nrn2822. Epub 2010 Mar 31.

New neurons and new memories: how does adult hippocampal neurogenesis affect learning and memory?

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1
Laboratory of Genetics, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.

Abstract

The integration of adult-born neurons into the circuitry of the adult hippocampus suggests an important role for adult hippocampal neurogenesis in learning and memory, but its specific function in these processes has remained elusive. In this article, we summarize recent progress in this area, including advances based on behavioural studies and insights provided by computational modelling. Increasingly, evidence suggests that newborn neurons might be involved in hippocampal functions that are particularly dependent on the dentate gyrus, such as pattern separation. Furthermore, newborn neurons at different maturation stages may make distinct contributions to learning and memory. In particular, computational studies suggest that, before newborn neurons are fully mature, they might function as a pattern integrator by introducing a degree of similarity to the encoding of events that occur closely in time.

PMID:
20354534
PMCID:
PMC2886712
DOI:
10.1038/nrn2822
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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