Adult-Born Neurons Help in Sensing Reward-Generating Stimuli

It is an established biological fact that the human brain produces new neurons during a person’s lifecycle. However, it is unclear how these neurons are different from the neurons that are present in the brain at birth. A research conducted by the scientists from the CNRS and the Institut Pasteur is suggestive of the function of the neurons generated by the brain after birth. The study finds that these adult-born neurons respond to the sensory stimuli and also help in identifying the positive value of the stimuli. This is an important consideration for the scientists who want to segregate the roles of neurons present at birth and the ones that are developed later.

Deducing Results from Mice Model

The study elucidates that the adult-borne neurons help the brain in anticipating positive results or rewards from sensory stimuli. The neurons present at birth, on the other hand, are incapable of generating such cognition within the brain. The scientists directed their efforts towards the production of adult neurons in mice in the olfactory bulb, the region of the brain that processes odors. It was found that the neurons reacted differently to odors associated with different outcomes such as weather or a positive reward. Furthermore, once these neurons were activated, it became easier for the brain to process olfactory information that could render a reward for the mice.

Future Hope for Neurosciences

The research shows that the processing of positive reward post stimuli largely depends on adult neurogenesis. Furthermore, adult hippocampus during the process of associative learning can also be studied with a greater degree of confidence.

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