© 2019 Dieni CV et al. The dentate gyrus continually produces new neurons throughout life. Behavioral studies in rodents and network models show that new neurons contribute to normal dentate functions, but there are many unanswered questions about how the relatively small population of new neurons alters network activity. Here we discuss experimental evidence that supports multiple cellular mechanisms by which adult-born neurons contribute to circuit function. Whereas past work focused on the unique intrinsic properties of young neurons, more recent studies also suggest that adult-born neurons alter the excitability of the mature neuronal population via unexpected circuit interactions.