THE

Boosting neuron growth may lead to drugs that improve cognition and mood

In Tech on April 4, 2011 at 3:18 pm

By Kurzweil

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have developed a new way to stimulate neurogenesis (neuron production) in the adult mouse brain, demonstrating that neurons acquired in the brain’s hippocampus during adulthood improve certain cognitive functions.

The researchers boosted the number of neurons in the hippocampus, an area of the brain involved in memory and mood, and tested the mice in both learning and mood-related tasks, looking for changes in behavior.

They found specific effects on learning tasks that involve a process called pattern separation, which is the ability to distinguish between similar places, events, and experiences. Pattern separation is important for learning, since it helps determine whether something is familiar or novel.

Pattern separation may also be important for anxiety disorders, including…

 

Original article…

 

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