[ Back to EurekAlert! ]

Contact: Mary Beth O'Leary
moleary@cell.com
617-397-2802
Cell Press

Nuclear Testing from the 1960s Helps Scientist Determine Whether Adult Brains Generate New Neurons

Caption: The birth of new neurons in the adult brain sharpens memory in rodents, but whether the same holds true for humans has long been debated. A study published by Cell Press June 6th in the journal Cell reveals that a significant number of new neurons in the hippocampus--a brain region crucial for memory and learning--are generated in adult humans. The researchers used a unique strategy based on the amount of carbon-14 found in humans as a result of above-ground nuclear testing more than half a century ago. The findings suggest that new neurons are born daily in the human hippocampus, offering the tantalizing possibility that they may support cognitive functions in adulthood.

Credit: Cell, Spalding et al.

Usage Restrictions: Credit Required

Related news release: Nuclear testing from the 1960s helps scientist determine whether adult brains generate new neurons


[ Back to EurekAlert! ]