Paper: Using causal models to distinguish between neurogenesis-dependent and -independent effects on behaviour
Using causal models to distinguish between neurogenesis-dependent and -independent effects on behaviourStanley E. Lazic
There has been a substantial amount of research on the relationship between hippocampal neurogenesis and behaviour over the past 15 years, but the causal role that new neurons have on cognitive and affective behavioural tasks is still far from clear. This is partly due to the difficulty of manipulating levels of neurogenesis without inducing off-target effects, which might also influence behaviour. In addition, the analytical methods typically used do not directly test whether neurogenesis mediates the effect of an intervention on behaviour. Previous studies may have incorrectly attributed changes in behavioural performance to neurogenesis because the role of known (or unknown) neurogenesis-independent mechanisms was not formally taken into consideration during the analysis. Causal models can tease apart complex causal relationships and were used to demonstrate that the effect of exercise on pattern separation is via neurogenesis-independent mechanisms. Many studies in the neurogenesis literature would benefit from the use of statistical methods that can separate neurogenesis-dependent from neurogenesis-independent effects on behaviour.
Source: The Royal Society
Robert Karl Stonjek