Environmental enrichment, new neurons and the neurobiology of individuality

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2019 Apr;20(4):235-245. doi: 10.1038/s41583-019-0120-x.


'Enriched environments' are a key experimental paradigm to decipher how interactions between genes and environment change the structure and function of the brain across the lifespan of an animal. The regulation of adult hippocampal neurogenesis by environmental enrichment is a prime example of this complex interaction. As each animal in an enriched environment will have a slightly different set of experiences that results in downstream differences between individuals, enrichment can be considered not only as an external source of rich stimuli but also to provide the room for individual behaviour that shapes individual patterns of brain plasticity and thus function.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Environment*
  • Humans
  • Individuality*
  • Neurogenesis / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Neurons / cytology*