Mechanisms of memory stabilization and de-stabilization

C. M. Alberini, M. H. Milekic, S. Tronel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Memories become stabilized through a time-dependent process that requires gene expression and is commonly known as consolidation. During this time, memories are labile and can be disrupted by a number of interfering events, including electroconvulsive shock, trauma and other learning or the transient effect of drugs such as protein synthesis inhibitors. Once consolidated, memories are insensitive to these disruptions. However, they can again become fragile if recalled or reactivated. Reactivation creates another time-dependent process, known as reconsolidation, during which the memory is restabilized. Here we discuss some of the questions currently debated in the field of memory consolidation and reconsolidation, the molecular and anatomical requirements for both processes and, finally, their functional relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)999-1008
Number of pages10
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 2006


  • Amygdala
  • C/EBP
  • CREB
  • Consolidation
  • Hippocampus
  • Memory
  • Molecular mechanisms
  • Protein synthesis
  • Reconsolidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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