Memory traces unbound

Trends Neurosci. 2003 Feb;26(2):65-72. doi: 10.1016/S0166-2236(02)00042-5.


The idea that new memories are initially 'labile' and sensitive to disruption before becoming permanently stored in the wiring of the brain has been dogma for >100 years. Recently, we have revisited the hypothesis that reactivation of a consolidated memory can return it to a labile, sensitive state - in which it can be modified, strengthened, changed or even erased! The data generated from some of the best-described paradigms in memory research, in conjunction with powerful neurobiological technologies, have provided striking support for a very dynamic neurobiological basis of memory, which is beginning to overturn the old dogma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology
  • Memory / drug effects*
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Memory, Short-Term / drug effects
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology
  • Mental Recall / physiology
  • Models, Neurological
  • Models, Psychological
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology*
  • RNA / genetics
  • RNA / physiology*
  • Reinforcement, Psychology


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • RNA