Key questions in regard to neuronal repair strategies are which cells are best suited to regenerate specific neuronal subtypes and how much of a neuronal circuit needs to persist in order to allow its functional repair. Here we discuss recent findings in the field of adult neurogenesis, which shed new light on these questions. Neural stem cells in the adult brain generate very distinct types of neurons depending on their regional and temporal specification. Moreover, distinct brain regions differ in the mode of neuron addition in adult neurogenesis, suggesting that different brain circuits may be able to cope differently with the incorporation of new neurons. These new insights are then considered in regard to the choice of cells with the appropriate region-specific identity for repair strategies.