“Newly generated, or newborn neurons in the adult hippocampus are critical for memory retrieval, according to a study led by Stony Brook University researchers…Previous research… has demonstrated that newborn neurons form connections with existing neurons in the adult brain. To help determine the role of newborn neurons, Dr. Ge and colleagues devised a new optogenetic technique to control newborn neurons and test their function in the hippocampus, one of the regions of the brain that generates new neurons, even in the adult aging brain. The findings support the idea that the generation of new neurons in the brain may be crucial to normal learning and memory processes. “Our findings could also shed light on the diagnosis and treatment of conditions common to the adult aging brain, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease,” he said.
Study: Optical controlling reveals time-dependent roles for adult-born dentate granule cells (Nature Neuroscience).
- From the Abstract: Accumulating evidence suggests that global depletion of adult hippocampal neurogenesis influences its function and that the timing of the depletion affects the deficits. However, the behavioral roles of adult-born neurons during their establishment … remain largely unknown…Our results identify a restricted time window for adult-born neurons essential in hippocampal memory retrieval.
To Learn More:
- Neurogenesis and How Learning Saves Your Neurons
- Lifelong Learning and New Neurons in Adults
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