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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2017 Jun;18(6):335-346. doi: 10.1038/nrn.2017.45. Epub 2017 May 4.

Adult hippocampal neurogenesis and cognitive flexibility - linking memory and mood.

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Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University and Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, New York State Psychiatric Institute, 1051 Riverside Drive, New York 10032, New York, USA.
Department of Neuroscience, Columbia University, Kolb Annex, 40 Haven Ave, New York 10032, New York, USA.
Department of Pharmacology, Columbia University, 630 West 168th Street, New York 10032, New York, USA.


Adult hippocampal neurogenesis has been implicated in cognitive processes, such as pattern separation, and in the behavioural effects of stress and antidepressants. Young adult-born neurons have been shown to inhibit the overall activity of the dentate gyrus by recruiting local interneurons, which may result in sparse contextual representations and improved pattern separation. We propose that neurogenesis-mediated inhibition also reduces memory interference and enables reversal learning both in neutral situations and in emotionally charged ones. Such improved cognitive flexibility may in turn help to decrease anxiety-like and depressive-like behaviour.

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