Sharpening the blades of the dentate gyrus: how adult-born neurons differentially modulate diverse aspects of hippocampal learning and memory

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleContributedpeer-review


For decades, the mammalian hippocampus has been the focus of cellular, anatomical, behavioral, and computational studies aimed at understanding the fundamental mechanisms underlying cognition. Long recognized as the brain's seat for learning and memory, a wealth of knowledge has been accumulated on how the hippocampus processes sensory input, builds complex associations between objects, events, and space, and stores this information in the form of memories to be retrieved later in life. However, despite major efforts, our understanding of hippocampal cognitive function remains fragmentary, and models trying to explain it are continually revisited. Here, we review the literature across all above-mentioned domains and offer a new perspective by bringing attention to the most distinctive, and generally neglected, feature of the mammalian hippocampal formation, namely, the structural separability of the two blades of the dentate gyrus into "supra-pyramidal" and "infra-pyramidal". Next, we discuss recent reports supporting differential effects of adult neurogenesis in the regulation of mature granule cell activity in these two blades. We propose a model for how differences in connectivity and adult neurogenesis in the two blades can potentially provide a substrate for subtly different cognitive functions.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere113524
Pages (from-to)e113524
JournalThe EMBO journal
Issue number22
Early online date25 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2023

External IDs

Scopus 85172017810



  • Learning, Hippocampus/physiology, Neurons/physiology, Animals, Dentate Gyrus/physiology, Neurogenesis/physiology, Memory/physiology, Mammals