Neurogenesis: The Birth of New Neurons in the Adult Brain

🕒 Approximate reading time: 4 minutes

Neurogenesis, the birth of new neurons, was once thought to cease entirely in the mature brain. However, a paradigm shift has occurred in the past few decades, with emerging evidence indicating that adult neurogenesis does indeed occur. In this blog post, we'll delve into the fascinating world of neurogenesis, its functions, and its implications for neurological health.

What is Neurogenesis?

Neurogenesis is the process of forming new neurons, or nerve cells, in the brain. For many years, it was believed that this process was limited to the development stage. It was thought that once the brain matured, no new neurons were formed. However, research over the past few decades has refuted this dogma, revealing that neurogenesis persists in certain regions of the adult brain, albeit at a slower rate.

Where Does Adult Neurogenesis Occur?

Adult neurogenesis has been definitively observed in two primary regions in the brain: the hippocampus and the olfactory bulb. The hippocampus is responsible for forming and storing memories, while the olfactory bulb is involved in the sense of smell. In these regions, neural stem cells or progenitor cells continue to divide and give rise to new neurons.

What is the Function of Adult Neurogenesis?

While the exact role of adult neurogenesis remains a topic of ongoing research, it's believed to be crucial for cognitive flexibility, memory, and mood regulation. The hippocampus, where new neurons are continually formed, is integral to learning and memory, and neurogenesis might contribute to these processes. Furthermore, research suggests that decreased neurogenesis in the hippocampus might be implicated in depressive disorders.

The Future of Neurogenesis Research

Understanding the factors that influence adult neurogenesis could potentially open doors for new treatment strategies in neurodegenerative diseases and mental health disorders. Promoting neurogenesis could aid in the recovery of neural function lost due to ageing or disease. However, more research is needed to fully understand the complex mechanisms regulating neurogenesis and how we can harness its potential therapeutically.


The discovery of adult neurogenesis has revolutionised our understanding of the brain's plasticity. This exciting field of research holds much promise for advancing our knowledge of brain function and offers hope for new treatments for neurological disorders.