Adult hippocampal neurogenesis and its role in cognition

Wiley Interdiscip Rev Cogn Sci. 2014 Sep;5(5):573-587. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1304. Epub 2014 Aug 12.


Adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) has intrigued neuroscientists for decades. Several lines of evidence show that adult-born neurons in the hippocampus are functionally integrated and contribute to cognitive function, in particular learning and memory processes. Biological properties of immature hippocampal neurons indicate that these cells are more easily excitable compared with mature neurons, and demonstrate enhanced structural plasticity. The structure in which adult-born hippocampal neurons are situated-the dentate gyrus-is thought to contribute to hippocampus function by disambiguating similar input patterns, a process referred to as pattern separation. Several ideas about AHN function have been put forward; currently there is good evidence in favor of a role for AHN in pattern separation. This function of AHN may be understood within a 'representational-hierarchical' view of brain organization. WIREs Cogn Sci 2014, 5:573-587. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1304 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

Conflict of interest: The authors have declared no conflicts of interest for this article.