|My laboratory studies neurogenesis
(the production of new neurons) and other
forms of structural plasticity in the early postnatal and adult
mammalian brain. Several decades ago, new cells with neuronal
characteristics were reported in the hippocampus, olfactory
bulb and neocortex of adult brains first by Altman and then
by Kaplan. Despite these early reports, relatively little progress
has been made toward understanding the control of neuron production
in these areas and neurogenesis in the adult neocortex remains
controversial. My laboratory explores issues related to the
regulation of cell production and survival in these three brain
regions in rodents and primates (marmosets and macaques).
We have found that stressful experiences inhibit the production
of new neurons in the hippocampus of adult rodents and primates.
Moreover, developmental stress (either prenatal or early postnatal)
persistently diminishes the production of new neurons, even
We are trying to answer the following basic questions: How
do hormones modulate the production of new neurons? What types
of experience affect new cell production? What are the mechanisms
that underlie hormonal and experiential modulation of structural
plasticity? What possible role could late-generated cells
play in brain function?