In other words, performance on the learning tests is associated with neurogenesis. The gene expression measures were taken to aide future research.
The results showed that performance on the learning tests did change, and the hypothesis was proven. Stress from the change, the intermittent pairings, did increase hippocampal neurogenesis in the adult male squirrel monkeys. Learning, especially spatial learning, was enhanced. Moreover, the corresponding gene expressions changed accordingly.
The authors suggest that the results may be generalized to a human population. With special attention paid to human beings suffering from depression, the authors suggest that specially-designed psychotherapeutic interventions for coping with stress will help stimulate hippocampal neurogenesis. Hippocampal neurogenesis is in turn associated with improved cognition. Therefore, effective coping mechanisms are likely to have a positive impact on overall psychological functioning.
This research demonstrates several key areas of interest, such as the ability for researchers to use non-human primates to study human brain functions. Moreover, the specific hypothesis is relevant in an age in which stress is omnipresent. Coping with stress is a key to alleviating both mental and physical health problems, because it is impossible to eliminate stressors from the environment. Individuals cope with stress differently, which is one of the reasons why the current research must be expanded. Moreover, the researchers do not mention the fact that adult human males with depression might already have impaired hippocampal neurogenesis. Future research should reveal differences in coping mechanisms and what specific psychological techniques or psychotherapeutic interventions are particularly effective in coping wiht stress and therefore.