ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Do adult brains learn by neurogenesis?

While researchers agree that the birth of new neurons plays an important role in the adult brain, they have long linkurl:debated;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/23351/ to which aspects of learning, memory and behavior the process contributes. A new linkurl:study;http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nature06562.html published today (January 30) in Nature has used a gene knockout approach to link adult neurogenesis to spatial learning. The paper showed that adult mice

Andrea Gawrylewski
While researchers agree that the birth of new neurons plays an important role in the adult brain, they have long linkurl:debated;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/23351/ to which aspects of learning, memory and behavior the process contributes. A new linkurl:study;http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nature06562.html published today (January 30) in Nature has used a gene knockout approach to link adult neurogenesis to spatial learning. The paper showed that adult mice that were deficient for a neurogenesis-linked gene , Tlx, had diminished learning and memory capabilities compared to their wild-type counterparts. The researchers, led by linkurl:Ronald Evans;http://www.salk.edu/faculty/faculty_details.php?id=21 at the Salk Intsitute for Biological Studies, demonstrated that knock-out mice took, in some cases, 10% longer than the controls to navigate a water maze. In the past, researchers have irradiated the hippocampus or used drugs that blocked neurogenesis to observe the outcome on behavior in animal models. But using a genetic approach adds a lot of power to the study, linkurl:Elizabeth Gould;https://weblamp.princeton.edu/~psych/psychology/research/gould/index.php...
The ScientistThe Scientist

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?
ADVERTISEMENT