According to the researchers, one important adult brain area that is a 'neurogenic zone' is the hippocampus, an area involved in memory and emotional regulation. The role of new neurons in hippocampal functions "remains poorly defined," however, but they add that the effect of stress on the hippocampus is well known. Stress, especially depression and post-traumatic brain injury, have been shown to shrink the hippocampus. Recent research has shown that exercise has a link to enhancing hippocampal 'plasticity' and the regrowth of neurons neurogenesis.
"Recent findings suggest that hippocampal neurogenesis plays a role in the beneficial effects of exercise in countering stress," they concluded.
Citation: Yau, S-K.; Lau, B. W-M.; So, K-F. Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis: A Possible Way How Physical Exercise Counteracts Stress. Cell Transplantation 20(1):99-111; 2011.
Adult neurogenesis, reproduction and sexual behavior
According to the researchers, recent studies suggest adult neurogenesis in the brain's subventricular zone (SVZ), which lines the ventricles (cavities) of the brain that contain cerebrospinal fluid, plays a role in reproductive function and possibly in maternal behaviors, although the function of "SVZ neurogenesis is obscure." They suggest that emerging evidence points to reproductive action and sexual cues, such as pheromones (known to play an important role in reproductive function), may play a role in regulating neurogenesis in the olfactory system, where the sense of smell is located, and in the SVZ. The precise contribution of newborn neurons to sexual behavior is still "under debate," the researchers point out. They cite animal studies showing that neurogenesis plays a rol
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Cell Transplantation Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair