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Sci. Signal., 13 March 2012
Vol. 5, Issue 215, p. ec79
[DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2003029]


Neuroscience Neurogenesis and Pattern Integration

Peter R. Stern

Science, AAAS, Cambridge CB2 1LQ, UK

The adult hippocampus continuously produces new neurons that integrate into the dentate gyrus network and contribute to information processing. What features of adult-born neurons are important for information processing in the dentate gyrus? Marín-Burgin et al. (see the Perspective by Kempermann) labeled newborn neurons and used sophisticated electrophysiological and imaging techniques to show that immature neurons integrated a broader variety of synaptic inputs from different origins compared with mature neurons, which were highly input specific. Thus, immature neurons may represent a population of integrators that are broadly tuned during a transient period and may encode most features of incoming information. After maturation, new granule cells display a high activation threshold and input specificity to become good pattern separators.

A. Marín-Burgin, L. A. Mongiat, M. Belén Pardi, A. F. Schinder, Unique processing during a period of high excitation/inhibition balance in adult-born neurons. Science 335, 1238–1242 (2012). [Abstract] [Full Text]

G. Kempermann, Youth culture in the adult brain. Science 335, 1175–1176 (2012). [Abstract] [Full Text]

Citation: P. R. Stern, Neurogenesis and Pattern Integration. Sci. Signal. 5, ec79 (2012).

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