When the same process is interrupted in adults, no such behavioral changes were noted, according to research published in the Oct. 4 issue of the journal Neuroscience.
"This has important implications in understanding social development at the molecular level," said Arie Kaffman, assistant professor of psychiatry and senior author of the study.
Scientists have known for quite some time that new brain cells are continually generated in specific brain regions after birth. This process, called neurogenesis, occurs at a significantly greater rate during childhood and adolescence than in adulthood, yet most research has focused upon the function of these neurons in older brains.
The Yale team decided to explore the function of these new brain cells in mice of different ages. Normal adult mice tend to spend a lot of time exploring and interacting with unfamiliar mice. However, adult mice that had neurogenesis blocked during adolescence showed no interest in exploring other adult mice and even evaded attempts made by other mice to engage in social behavior.
"These mice acted like they did not recognize other mice as mice," Kaffman said.
Blocking adult neurogenesis had no effect on social behavior, suggesting that brain cells generated during adolescence make a very different contribution to brain function and behavior in adulthood, note the scientists.
Intriguingly, schizophrenics have a deficit in generating new neurons in the hippocampus, one of the brain areas where new neurons are created. Given that symptoms of schizophrenia first emerge in adolescence, it is possible that deficits in generating new neurons during adolescence or even in childhood holds new insights into the development of some of the social and cognitive deficits seen in this illness, Kaffman said.
Other Yale authors include Lan Wei and Ronald S. Duman.
Bill Hathaway | EurekAlert!
Less animal experiments on the horizon: Multi-organ chip awarded
19.10.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoff- und Strahltechnik IWS
RUDN chemist tested a new nanocatalyst for obtaining hydrogen
18.10.2018 | RUDN University
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.
Silicon, a so called semiconductor, is currently widely employed for the development of components such as solar cells, LEDs or computer chips. High purity...
Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles
Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...
When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.
We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...
Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...
Das Zusammenspiel aus Struktur und Dynamik bestimmt die Funktion von Proteinen, den molekularen Werkzeugen der Zelle. Durch Fortschritte in der...
17.10.2018 | Event News
16.10.2018 | Event News
02.10.2018 | Event News
19.10.2018 | Earth Sciences
19.10.2018 | Life Sciences
19.10.2018 | Health and Medicine