Neurogenesis in the adult brain: death of a dogma


For over 100 years a central assumption in the field of neuroscience has been that new neurons are not added to the adult mammalian brain. This perspective examines the origins of this dogma, its perseverance in the face of contradictory evidence, and its final collapse. The acceptance of adult neurogenesis may be part of a contemporary paradigm shift in our view of the plasticity and stability of the adult brain.

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Figure 1: Cell birth and death in adulthood.
Figure 2: Cell-specific markers and neurogenesis.


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This paper arose out of collaborative work with E. Gould, who commented in detail on previous drafts and prepared all the figures. I also thank M.S.A. Graziano, G. Krauthamer, N. Vail, M. Wagers, K. Sheingold, the James S. McDonnell foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

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Gross, C. Neurogenesis in the adult brain: death of a dogma. Nat Rev Neurosci 1, 67–73 (2000).

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