Appetitive Pavlovian goal-tracking memories reconsolidate only under specific conditions

Amy C Reichelt, Jonathan L C Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
253 Downloads (Pure)


Despite extensive evidence that appetitive memories undergo reconsolidation, two notable failures to observe reconsolidation have been reported: instrumental responding and goal-tracking. However, these studies do not provide conclusive evidence for a lack of memory reconsolidation due to the numerous boundary conditions that dictate whether a memory will undergo reconsolidation. In this study we sought to reexamine reconsolidation in an appetitive, Pavlovian conditioned approach procedure and the behavioral boundary conditions within which memories are destabilized and reconsolidated. This study demonstrated that a Pavlovian goal-tracking memory, previously thought to be resistant to destabilization, will undergo memory reconsolidation under discrete conditions that favor reconsolidation as opposed to extinction, and that this is dependent on the amount of training rats received. With restricted training, systemic administration of MK-801 impaired memory extinction. In contrast, with more extended training, MK-801 administration impaired memory reconsolidation. We also demonstrate that behavioral boundary conditions that exist for appetitive memory reconsolidation are much more complex than simple parametric calculations. Moreover, extinction per se is not a boundary on reconsolidation, in that MK-801 also has no behavioral effect under some conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-60
Number of pages10
JournalLearning & memory
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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