An electroconvulsive therapy procedure impairs reconsolidation of episodic memories in humans

Nat Neurosci. 2014 Feb;17(2):204-6. doi: 10.1038/nn.3609. Epub 2013 Dec 22.


Despite accumulating evidence for a reconsolidation process in animals, support in humans, especially for episodic memory, is limited. Using a within-subjects manipulation, we found that a single application of electroconvulsive therapy following memory reactivation in patients with unipolar depression disrupted reactivated, but not non-reactivated, memories for an emotional episode in a time-dependent manner. Our results provide evidence for reconsolidation of emotional episodic memories in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Choice Behavior / physiology
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology
  • Male
  • Mathematics
  • Memory Disorders / etiology*
  • Memory, Episodic*
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors