Adult neurogenesis, a process of generating functional neurons from adult neural precursors, occurs throughout life in restricted brain regions in mammals. The past decade has witnessed tremendous progress in addressing questions related to almost every aspect of adult neurogenesis in the mammalian brain. Here we review major advances in our understanding of adult mammalian neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus and from the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricle, the rostral migratory stream to the olfactory bulb. We highlight emerging principles that have significant implications for stem cell biology, developmental neurobiology, neural plasticity, and disease mechanisms. We also discuss remaining questions related to adult neural stem cells and their niches, underlying regulatory mechanisms, and potential functions of newborn neurons in the adult brain. Building upon the recent progress and aided by new technologies, the adult neurogenesis field is poised to leap forward in the next decade.
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