Memory Reconsolidation: Lingering Consolidation and the Dynamic Memory Trace

Cristina M. Alberini, Sarah A. Johnson, Xiaojing Ye

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The rediscovery of memory reconsolidation has brought the attention of many investigators to this field because the findings that a stabilized memory can return to a labile state have changed the way we view long-term memory formation and storage. Furthermore, it has provided important information for potentially developing novel therapeutic interventions for psychopathologies as well as cognitive impairments. As with all discoveries that change previous beliefs, many conclusions and interpretations about the novel data have been subjected to a great deal of debates and controversies. However, the studies on memory reconsolidation have undoubtedly led to the understanding that the processes of memory formation and storage are exquisitely dynamic. Elucidating the mechanisms and temporal dynamics of the biological changes that accompany memory encoding, storage, and retrieval is key to understanding many brain functions. In this chapter, we summarize studies from our laboratory that investigated the mechanisms and functions of memory reconsolidation using the inhibitory avoidance task in rats. Based on the results of these studies, we propose the conclusions that memory reconsolidation contributes to a lingering consolidation process and that memory is a highly dynamic process. We then discuss how we can use the knowledge acquired about memory reconsolidation to develop new therapies for weakening maladaptive memories and enhancing memories to combat cognitive decline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMemory Reconsolidation
Number of pages37
ISBN (Electronic)9780123868923
ISBN (Print)9780123868930
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • C/EBP
  • IGF-II
  • PTSD
  • cognitive enhancement
  • consolidation
  • inhibitory avoidance
  • memory
  • memory updating
  • rat
  • reconsolidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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