Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Depression, Neurogenesis and Spatial navigation

We all know that hippocampus is the seat of both memory as well as spatial abilities (cognitive map theory). We also know that most of the neurogeneisis in adult humans happens in hippocmapus. We also know that depression is caused by stress and both stress and depression lead to or are correlated with reduced neurogeneisis in the hippocmapus (my learning helplessness theory of depression) .

Now a new study has found that depressed people have impaired spatial navigation abilities. Putting 2 and 2 together it is highly plausible that this relationship between depression and impaired spatial navigation is mediated by the reduced neurogeneies or atrophy in hippocampus.

Relatedly, a good article (pdf) regarding how new anti-depressants are targeting neurogenesis in hippocampus as a mechanism to alleviate depression.

Three cheers to the cognitive map theory- the focus with which this blog started!!

Hat Tip: BPS Research Digest

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Mr Mentor said...

You might be interested in a new DVD on Depression just released by my company called EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT DEPRESSION presented by UK Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Darryl Britto at
John Edmonds

Sandy G said...

John, thanks for reading and sharing the link. I am sure this would be a great resource and sure would love to watch the dvd. If you can send me a copy, I might even review it here:-)