Newborn cells clear space in brain's memory-maker

Neurogenesis helps break old circuits in the hippocampus

By Tina Hesman Saey, 16:13 PM November 12, 2009

Old memories may get the boot from new brain cells.

A new rodent study shows that newborn neurons destabilize established connections among existing brain cells in the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in learning and memory. Clearing old memories from the hippocampus makes way for new learning, researchers from Japan suggest in the Nov. 13 Cell.

Other researchers had proposed the idea that neurogenesis, the birth of new neurons, could disrupt existing memories, but the Cell paper ...

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