Youth Culture in the Adult Brain

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Science  09 Mar 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6073, pp. 1175-1176
DOI: 10.1126/science.1219304

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In the adult mammalian hippocampus, the brain region responsible for learning and memory, local precursor cells continually produce new neurons, but how these immature cells contribute to information processing has not been clear. On page 1238 of this issue, Marín-Burgin et al. (1) show that immature neurons born in the adult mouse hippocampus are more likely to respond to incoming information—quite in contrast to the older neurons in the vicinity that are much harder to impress and show much greater specificity in their response.