The impact of adult neurogenesis on olfactory bulb circuits and computations

Annu Rev Physiol. 2013;75:339-63. doi: 10.1146/annurev-physiol-030212-183731. Epub 2012 Nov 26.


Modern neuroscience has demonstrated how the adult brain has the ability to profoundly remodel its neurons in response to changes in external stimuli or internal states. However, adult brain plasticity, although possible throughout life, remains restricted mostly to subcellular levels rather than affecting the entire cell. New neurons are continuously generated in only a few areas of the adult brain-the olfactory bulb and the dentate gyrus-where they integrate into already functioning circuitry. In these regions, adult neurogenesis adds another dimension of plasticity that either complements or is redundant to the classical molecular and cellular mechanisms of plasticity. This review extracts clues regarding the contribution of adult-born neurons to the different circuits of the olfactory bulb and specifically how new neurons participate in existing computations and enable new computational functions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dentate Gyrus / physiology
  • Humans
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Neurogenesis / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology