Learning enhances adult neurogenesis in the hippocampal formation

Elizabeth Gould, Anna Beylin, Patima Tanapat, Alison Reeves, Tracey J. Shors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1804 Scopus citations


Thousands of hippocampal neurons are born in adulthood, suggesting that new cells could be important for hippocampal function. To determine whether hippocampus-dependent learning affects adult-generated neurons, we examined the fate of new cells labeled with the thymidine analog bromodeoxyuridine following specific behavioral tasks. Here we report that the number of adult- generated neurons doubles in the rat dentate gyrus in response to training on associative learning tasks that require the hippocampus. In contrast, training on associative learning tasks that do not require the hippocampus did not alter the number of new cells. These findings indicate that adult- generated hippocampal neurons are specifically affected by, and potentially involved in, associative memory formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-265
Number of pages6
JournalNature neuroscience
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


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