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ERIC Number: EJ855937
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0502
Older and Stronger Object Memories are Selectively Destabilized by Reactivation in the Presence of New Information
Winters, Boyer D.; Tucci, Mark C.; DaCosta-Furtado, Melynda
Learning & Memory, v16 n9 p545-553 Sep 2009
Reactivation can destabilize previously consolidated memories, rendering them vulnerable to disruption and necessitating a process of reconsolidation in order for them to be maintained. This process of destabilization and reconsolidation has commonly been cited as a means by which established memories can be updated or modified. However, little direct evidence exists to support this view. The present study addressed this issue by analyzing the influence of novel salient information present at the time of memory reactivation on the likelihood of the reactivated memory to become destabilized and vulnerable to disruption. Rats explored sample objects and, some time later, received systemic injections of the N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor antagonist MK-801 or saline prior to memory reactivation. When object memories were relatively young or weakly encoded, MK-801 significantly disrupted reconsolidation regardless of the reactivation conditions. However, increasing the amount of sample object exploration or the interval between the sample phase and reactivation abolished the effect of MK-801 on reconsolidation unless salient novel contextual information was present during memory reactivation. These results highlight the dynamic nature of memory storage and retrieval and indicate an important interaction between the age and strength of a memory, its probability of being destabilized upon reactivation, and the stimulus conditions during reactivation. The essential involvement of novel encoding in destabilizing certain memories supports the idea that the reconsolidation process enables modification of existing memories.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A