Behavioural memory reconsolidation of food and fear memories.

Charlotte Law, David J. Barber, Jonathan Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The reactivation of a memory through retrieval can render it subject to disruption or modification through the process of memory reconsolidation. In both humans and rodents, briefly reactivating a fear memory results in effective erasure by subsequent extinction training. Here we show that a similar strategy is equally effective in the disruption of appetitive pavlovian cue-food memories. However, systemic administration of the NMDA receptor partial agonist D-cycloserine, under the same behavioural conditions, did not potentiate appetitive memory extinction, suggesting that reactivation does not enhance subsequent extinction learning. To confirm that reactivation followed by extinction reflects a behavioural analogue of memory reconsolidation, we show that prevention of contextual fear memory reactivation by the L-type voltage-gated calcium channel blocker nimodipine interferes with the amnestic outcome. Therefore, the reconsolidation process can be manipulated behaviourally to disrupt both aversive and appetitive memories.
Original languageEnglish
Article number504
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2011


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