Mechanisms governing the reactivation-dependent destabilization of memories and their role in extinction

Charlotte R. Flavell, Elliot A. Lambert, Boyer D. Winters, Timothy W. Bredy

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The extinction of learned associations has traditionally been considered to involve new learning, which competes with the original memory for control over behavior. However, a recent resurgence of interest in reactivation-dependent amnesia has revealed that the retrieval of fear-related memory (with what is essentially a brief extinction session) can result in its destabilization. This review discusses some of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that are involved in the destabilization of a memory following its reactivation and/or extinction, and investigates the evidence that extinction may involve both new learning as well as a partial destabilization-induced erasure of the original memory trace.
Original languageEnglish
Article number214
JournalFrontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 26 Dec 2013

Bibliographical note

© 2013 Flavell, Lambert, Winters and Bredy. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.


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