Computational influence of adult neurogenesis on memory encoding.

TitleComputational influence of adult neurogenesis on memory encoding.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsAimone JB, Wiles J, Gage FH
Date Published2009 Jan 29
KeywordsAge Factors, Algorithms, Animals, Cell Proliferation, Computer Simulation, Dentate Gyrus, Humans, Memory, Nerve Net, Neural Pathways, Neurogenesis, Neuronal Plasticity, Neurons, Stem Cells, Synapses, Time Perception

Adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus leads to the incorporation of thousands of new granule cells into the dentate gyrus every month, but its function remains unclear. Here, we present computational evidence that indicates that adult neurogenesis may make three separate but related contributions to memory formation. First, immature neurons introduce a degree of similarity to memories learned at the same time, a process we refer to as pattern integration. Second, the extended maturation and change in excitability of these neurons make this added similarity a time-dependent effect, supporting the possibility that temporal information is included in new hippocampal memories. Finally, our model suggests that the experience-dependent addition of neurons results in a dentate gyrus network well suited for encoding new memories in familiar contexts while treating novel contexts differently. Taken together, these results indicate that new granule cells may affect hippocampal function in several unique and previously unpredicted ways.

Alternate JournalNeuron
PubMed ID19186162
PubMed Central IDPMC2670434
Grant ListNS-050217 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
R01 NS050217 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
R01 NS050217-04 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
IRG Funded
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