What is the functional role of adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus?

Wiskott, Laurenz and Rasch, Malte J. and Kempermann, Gerd (2004) What is the functional role of adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus? [Preprint]

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The dentate gyrus is part of the hippocampal memory system and special in that it generates new neurons throughout life. Here we discuss the question of what the functional role of these new neurons might be. Our hypothesis is that they help the dentate gyrus to avoid the problem of catastrophic interference when adapting to new environments. We assume that old neurons are rather stable and preserve an optimal encoding learned for known environments while new neurons are plastic to adapt to those features that are qualitatively new in a new environment. A simple network simulation demonstrates that adding new plastic neurons is indeed a successful strategy for adaptation without catastrophic interference.

Item Type:Preprint
Keywords:hippocampus, dentate gyrus, adult neurogenesis, network model, catastrophic interference
Subjects:Biology > Animal Cognition
Computer Science > Neural Nets
Biology > Theoretical Biology
ID Code:4012
Deposited By: Wiskott, Laurenz
Deposited On:30 Dec 2004
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:55

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