Social novelty and neurogenesis

Social interaction promotes adult neurogenesis in model animals such as rodents. It is not clear, however, whether the social stimulation itself or simply the novelty of the social stimulation enhances neurogenesis. Social interaction with one other individual may only be effective in promoting neurogenesis for a short period of time before fish habituate to each other. We examine the effect of novel social stimulus on brain cell addition in the brown ghost electric fish, Apteronotus leptorhynchus. We compare social behavior and brain cell addition in males exposed to a single fish to males presented with a series of novel partners. This experiment will enable us to determine whether diversity and novelty of social interaction has benefits beyond static social interaction in enhancing neurogenesis.

- M. Chung