Adult hippocampal neurogenesis and its role in cognition.


Type
Article
Change log
Authors
Oomen, Charlotte A 
Bekinschtein, Pedro 
Kent, Brianne A 
Saksida, Lisa M 
Bussey, Timothy J 
Abstract

UNLABELLED: Adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) has intrigued neuroscientists for decades. Several lines of evidence show that adult-born neurons in the hippocampus are functionally integrated and contribute to cognitive function, in particular learning and memory processes. Biological properties of immature hippocampal neurons indicate that these cells are more easily excitable compared with mature neurons, and demonstrate enhanced structural plasticity. The structure in which adult-born hippocampal neurons are situated-the dentate gyrus-is thought to contribute to hippocampus function by disambiguating similar input patterns, a process referred to as pattern separation. Several ideas about AHN function have been put forward; currently there is good evidence in favor of a role for AHN in pattern separation. This function of AHN may be understood within a 'representational-hierarchical' view of brain organization. WIREs Cogn Sci 2014, 5:573-587. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1304 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. CONFLICT OF INTEREST: The authors have declared no conflicts of interest for this article.

Description
Keywords
1109 Neurosciences, Biomedical, Basic Science, Neurosciences, Neurological, Mental Health, 1.1 Normal biological development and functioning
Journal Title
Wiley Interdiscip Rev Cogn Sci
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
1939-5078
1939-5086
Volume Title
5
Publisher
Wiley
Rights
DSpace@Cambridge license
Sponsorship
Medical Research Council (G1000183)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/G019002/1)
Medical Research Council (G0001354)
Wellcome Trust (089703/Z/09/Z)
Wellcome Trust (093875/Z/10/Z)
European Commission (115008)
The discovery of neurogenesis in the brain of adult mammals1-3 , including humans4 , received considerable attention as it challenged the prevailing dogma that the brain is ‘post-mitotic’ and as such is endowed with limited regenerative capacity. In the mammalian brain, adult neurogenesis is restricted to two regions: 1. the DG, at the border of the granule cell layer and hilus (the subgranular zone) where adult neurogenesis gives rise to the primary granule cells (GCs), and 2. the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricles; cells born here subsequently migrate to the olfactory bulb5-7 . Given the well-established role of the hippocampus in learning and memory8 , it was soon suggested that AHN may contribute to these functions in some way. This idea was supported by the finding that memory demand correlated with AHN in birds9 and that in rats AHN could be stimulated by learning a spatial task10. In this manuscript, we will review some of the biological properties of adult-born hippocampal neurons and provide an overview of the structure in which adult-born hippocampal neurons are situated, the dentate gyrus. This is followed by an overview of studies that have addressed a putative role of AHN in learning and memory function and a discussion of the ideas on how adult-born hippocampal neurons may contribute to hippocampus function.