Neurogenesis Debate Continues

Recent studies have all but confirmed the occurrence of neurogenesis in the primate hippocampus, an area involved in short-term memory. But occurrence of neurogenesis in the neocortex, an area thought to be involved in long-term memory, continues to be a point of contention. A group at Princeton University surprised many with an October 1999 report that suggested the neocortex was home to the birth of thousands of new neurons per day (E. Gould et al.,

"Neurogenesis in the neocortex of adult primates," Science, 286:548-52, Oct. 15, 1999). At last month's American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Washington, D.C., Yale University neuroscience professor Pasko Rakic, whose 1980s research suggested that primates are capable of relatively little neurogenesis compared with lower vertebrates, presented as-yet-unpublished data contradicting the Princeton group's findings. In a similar experiment, Rakic's group looked to the rhesus monkey neocortex for neurogenesis,...

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