Adult-born neurons are necessary for extended contextual discrimination

Sophie Tronel, Laure Belnoue, Noelle Grosjean, Jean-Michel Revest, Pier-Vincenzo Piazza, Muriel Koehl, Djoher Nora Abrous
Hippocampus. 2010-11-03; 22(2): 292-298
DOI: 10.1002/hipo.20895

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New neurons are continuously produced in the adult dentate gyrus of the
hippocampus. It has been shown that one of the functions of adult neurogenesis is
to support spatial pattern separation, a process that transforms similar memories
into nonoverlapping representations. This prompted us to investigate whether
adult-born neurons are required for discriminating two contexts, i.e., for
identifying a familiar environment and detect any changes introduced in it. We
show that depleting adult-born neurons impairs the animal’s ability to
disambiguate two contexts after extensive training. These data suggest that the
continuous production of new dentate neurons plays a crucial role in extracting
and separating efficiently contextual representation in order to discriminate
features within events.

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Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus