It has been half a century since brain volume enlargement was first reported in animals reared in an enriched environment (EE). As EE animals show improved memory task performance, exposure to EE has been a useful model system for studying the effects of experience on brain plasticity. We review EE-induced neural changes in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus focusing mainly on works published in the recent decade. The review is organized in three large domains of changes: anatomical, electrophysiological, and molecular changes. Finally, we discuss open issues and future outlook toward better understanding of EE-induced neural changes.
Keywords: cerebral cortex; gamma oscillations; glia; hippocampus; neuropil; spines.
Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.