October 24, 2020

Adult-born neurons promote cognitive flexibility by improving memory precision and indexing

The dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus is fundamental for cognitive flexibility and has the extraordinary ability to generate new neurons throughout life. Recent evidence suggested that adult-born neurons differentially modulate input to the DG during the processing of spatial information and novelty. However, how this differential regulation by neurogenesis is translated into different aspects contributing cognitive flexibility is unclear. Here, we increased adult-born neurons by a genetic expansion of neural stem cells and studied their influence during navigational learning. We found that increased neurogenesis improved memory precision, indexing and retention and that each of these gains was associated with a differential activation of specific DG compartments and better separation of memory representations in the DG-CA3 network. Our results highlight the role of adult-born neurons in promoting memory precision in the infrapyramidal and indexing in the suprapyramidal blade of the DG and together contributing to cognitive flexibility.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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