Memory reconsolidation

C. M. Alberini, S. M. Taubenfeld

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Memory is formed, reshaped, maintained, and expressed through several dynamic processes. A new memory exists in a labile state for some time after learning and eventually becomes stable through a process known as memory consolidation. However, after recall, established memories become again transiently fragile and undergo a restabilization process known as memory reconsolidation. Over the last several years, the rediscovery of memory reconsolidation has attracted a great deal of attention and is reshaping the way neurobiologists think about memory formation and storage. Much of the recent reconsolidation research has focused on identifying the underlying anatomical, molecular, and cellular mechanisms involved. Moreover, the temporal boundaries of the reconsolidation process are beginning to be understood. For example, researchers are clarifying how long amnesia lasts following postreactivation interference and whether there is a temporal limit for a memory to become labile - and thus weakened - after reactivation. The opportunity to reactivate and decrease the intensity of memories has also sparked great interest among clinicians in the mental health field who treat disorders that involve maladaptive memories. Two examples of these directives are posttraumatic stress disorder and drug addiction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLearning and Memory
Subtitle of host publicationA Comprehensive Reference
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780123705099
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007


  • Addiction
  • Amnesia
  • Consolidation
  • Gene expression
  • Memory
  • PTSD
  • Protein synthesis
  • Reactivation
  • Reconsolidation
  • Retrieval

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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