Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 16495940
Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 2006 Mar;7(3):179-93
The adult brain is a plastic place. To ensure that the mature nervous system’s control of behaviour is flexible in the face of a varying environment, morphological and physiological changes are possible at many levels, including that of the entire cell. In two areas of the adult brain – the olfactory bulb and the dentate gyrus – new neurons are generated throughout life and form an integral part of the normal functional circuitry. This process is not fixed, but highly modulated, revealing a plastic mechanism by which the brain’s performance can be optimized for a given environment. The functional benefits of this whole-cell plasticity, however, remain a matter for debate.