neurogenesis in the adult brain

February 24, 2008

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According to Amelia J. Eisch, in a paper entitled ‘Adult neurogenesis: implications for psychiatry’ , the discovery that adult brains continue to grow neurons is relatively new.

“Until the late 1950s, it was widely presumed that the adult
mammalian brain did not generate new neurons.
However, it is now clear that adult neurogenesis does
occur, and four lines of evidence suggest that adult
neurogenesis may be a novel contributor to adult
neuroplasticity.”

The fact that neurogenesis occurs throughout adult development is extraordinary. No longer can we assume that development takes it’s rightful place during childhood and adolescence and then tapers off as we reach maturity. In fact, we can begin to explore just what factors influence adult neurogenesis, and what the implications of having a growing brain can mean for our adult lives.