Adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus is a notable process due not only to its uniqueness and potential impact on cognition but also to its localized vertical integration of different scales of neuroscience, ranging from molecular and cellular biology to behavior. This review summarizes the recent research regarding the process of adult neurogenesis from these different perspectives, with particular emphasis on the differentiation and development of new neurons, the regulation of the process by extrinsic and intrinsic factors, and their ultimate function in the hippocampus circuit. Arising from a local neural stem cell population, new neurons progress through several stages of maturation, ultimately integrating into the adult dentate gyrus network. The increased appreciation of the full neurogenesis process, from genes and cells to behavior and cognition, makes neurogenesis both a unique case study for how scales in neuroscience can link together and suggests neurogenesis as a potential target for therapeutic intervention for a number of disorders.
Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.