No New Neocortical Neurons

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Science  07 Dec 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5549, pp. 2049
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5549.2049e

Indications that cells in the adult primate's brain might proliferate to form new neurons have stood in stark contrast with previous studies which found that neurons of the central nervous system leave their mitotic phase during development. Kornack and Rakic (p. 2127) used the indicator bromodeoxyuridine to identify proliferating cells in the brains of adult macaque monkeys. Dividing cells found in the neocortex were identified as nonneuronal supporting cells; proliferation of neurons was limited to the hippocampus and olfactory bulb. Thus, whereas certain types of new cells may indeed be found in the adult brain, the contribution of these cells to complex neuronal functions may be only secondary.

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