Reviews in the Neurosciences
Editor-in-Chief: Huston, Joseph P.
Editorial Board Member: Topic, Bianca / Adeli, Hojjat / Buzsaki, Gyorgy / Crawley, Jacqueline / Crow, Tim / Eichenbaum, Howard / Gold, Paul / Holsboer, Florian / Korth, Carsten / Lubec, Gert / McEwen, Bruce / Pan, Weihong / Pletnikov, Mikhail / Robbins, Trevor / Schnitzler, Alfons / Stevens, Charles / Steward, Oswald / Trojanowski, John
IMPACT FACTOR 2015: 3.198
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 3.546
Rank 97 out of 256 in category Neurosciences in the 2015 Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Report/Science Edition
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 1.605
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.912
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 3.325
When is adult hippocampal neurogenesis necessary for learning? Evidence from animal research
1Departamento de Psicobiología y Metodología de las CC, Universidad de Málaga, Campus de Teatinos, E-29071 Málaga, Spain
2Unidad de Investigación, Fundación IMABIS, Hospital Regional Universitario Carlos Haya, Avenida Carlos Haya 25, E-29010 Málaga, Spain
Citation Information: Reviews in the Neurosciences. Volume 22, Issue 3, Pages 267–283, ISSN (Online) 2191-0200, ISSN (Print) 0334-1763, DOI: 10.1515/rns.2011.027, May 2011
- Published Online:
The hippocampus is a key brain structure involved in the short- and long-term processing of declarative memory. Since adult hippocampal neurogenesis was first found, numerous studies have tried to establish the contribution of newborn neurons to hippocampus-dependent cognitive functions. However, this large amount of research has generated contradictory results. In this paper, we review the body of evidence investigating the relationship between hippocampal neurogenesis and learning to conclude the functional role of adult-born hippocampal neurons. First, factors that could explain discrepancies among experiments are taken into account. Then, in addition to methodological differences, we emphasize the importance of the age of the newborn neurons studied, as to how their maturation influences both their properties and potential functionality. Next, we discuss which declarative memory components could require involvement of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, taking into consideration the representational demands of the task, its difficulty and the level of performance reached by the subject. Finally, other factors that could modulate neurogenesis and memory, such as stress levels or previous experience of the animal, should also be taken into consideration in interpreting experiments focused on neurogenesis. In conclusion, our analysis of published studies suggests that new adult-born neurons, under certain circumstances, have a crucial and irreplaceable role in hippocampal learning.
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