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ERIC Number: EJ861307
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0502
Changes in Context-Specificity during Memory Reconsolidation: Selective Effects of Hippocampal Lesions
Winocur, Gordon; Frankland, Paul W.; Sekeres, Melanie; Fogel, Stuart; Moscovitch, Morris
Learning & Memory, v16 n11 p722-729 Nov 2009
After acquisition, memories associated with contextual fear conditioning pass through a labile phase, in which they are vulnerable to hippocampal lesions, to a more stable state, via consolidation, in which they engage extrahippocampal structures and are resistant to such disruption. The process is accompanied by changes in the form of the memory from being context-specific to context-general. However, when revived by a reminder, stable memories once again become labile and susceptible to hippocampal disruption, and memory reconsolidation is needed to stabilize them. This study addressed two questions with respect to this reconsolidation phenomenon: (1) How do reminders reinstate a hippocampally dependent memory trace? (2) As the memory changes from a stable to a labile state after a reminder, does its form remain invariant, or does it also change? Using contextual manipulations at retrieval in a test of contextual fear conditioning, we showed that when the fear-conditioning environment served as a reminder, the reinstated memory regained its context specificity and, as a result, became vulnerable again to the effects of hippocampal lesions. By comparison, exposure to a different environment during the reminder session reinstated a version of the original memory that was dependent primarily on general features of the original context and, consequently, was less affected by hippocampal lesions. These findings, which relate loss of reactivated memories after hippocampal destruction (or inactivation) to changes in memory representation, are interpreted as consistent with the transformation hypothesis of memory processing.
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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