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The role of adult hippocampal neurogenesis in spatial learning remains a matter of debate. Here, we show that spatial learning modifies neurogenesis by inducing a cascade of events that resembles the selective stabilization process characterizing development. Learning promotes survival of relatively mature neurons, apoptosis of more immature cells, and finally, proliferation of neural precursors. These are three interrelated events mediating learning. Thus, blocking apoptosis impairs memory and inhibits learning-induced cell survival and cell proliferation. In conclusion, during learning, similar to the selective stabilization process, neuronal networks are sculpted by a tightly regulated selection and suppression of different populations of newly born neurons.

Original publication

DOI

10.1371/journal.pbio.0050214

Type

Journal article

Journal

PLoS Biol

Publication Date

08/2007

Volume

5

Keywords

Animals, Apoptosis, Cell Proliferation, Cell Survival, Dentate Gyrus, Electrophysiology, Hippocampus, Male, Maze Learning, Memory, Neuronal Plasticity, Neurons, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Spatial Behavior