The vast majority of what is considered fact about adult neurogenesis comes from research on laboratory mice and rats: where it happens, how it works, what it does. However, this relative exclusive focus on two rodent species has resulted in a bias on how we think about adult neurogenesis. While it might not prevent us from making conclusions about the evolutionary significance of the process or even prevent us from generalizing to diverse mammals, it certainly does not help us achieve these outcomes. Here, we argue that there is every reason to expect striking species differences in adult neurogenesis: where it happens, how it works, what it does. Species-specific adaptations in brain and behavior are paramount to survival and reproduction in diverse ecological niches and it is naive to think adult neurogenesis escaped these evolutionary pressures. A neuroethological approach to the study of adult neurogenesis is essential for a comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon. Furthermore, most of us are guilty of making strong assertions about our data in order to have impact yet this ultimately creates bias in how work is performed, interpreted, and applied. By taking a step back and actually placing our results in a much larger, non-biomedical context, we can help to reduce dogmatic thinking and create a framework for discovery.
Faykoo-Martinez, M., Toor, I., & Holmes, M. M. (2017). Solving the neurogenesis puzzle: Looking for pieces outside the traditional box. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 11(SEP). https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2017.00505