Until recently, it was believed that the introduction of new neurons in neuronal networks was incompatible with memory function. Since the rediscovery of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, behavioral data demonstrate that adult neurogenesis is required for memory processing. We examine neurocomputational studies to identify which basic mechanisms involved in memory might be mediated by adult neurogenesis. Mainly, adult neurogenesis might be involved in the reduction of catastrophic interference and in a time-related pattern separation function. Artificial neuronal networks suggest that the selective recruitment of new-born or old neurons is not stochastic, but depends on environmental requirements. This leads us to propose the novel concept of "soft-supervision". Soft-supervision would be a biologically plausible process, by which the environment is able to influence activation and learning rules of neurons differentially.
Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.