Reconsolidation: the advantage of being refocused

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2006 Apr;16(2):174-8. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2006.03.010. Epub 2006 Mar 24.


Ample evidence suggests that upon their retrieval, items in long-term memory enter a transient special state, in which they might become prone to change. The process that generates this state is dubbed 'reconsolidation'. The dominant conceptual framework in this revitalized field of memory research focuses on whether reconsolidation resembles consolidation, which is the process that converts an unstable short-term memory trace into a more stable long-term trace. However, this emphasis on the comparison of reconsolidation to consolidation deserves reassessment. Instead, the phenomenon of reconsolidation, irrespective of its relevance to consolidation, provides a unique opportunity to tap into the molecular, cellular and circuit correlates of memory persistence and retrieval, of which we currently know only little.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Memory Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neuropharmacology / methods
  • Neuropharmacology / trends
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / drug therapy
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / physiopathology