Memory destabilization during reconsolidation – a consequence of homeostatic plasticity?

Felippe Espinelli Amorim, Renata Chapot, Thiago Moulin, Jonathan Lee, Olavo Amaral

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Remembering is not a static process: When retrieved, a memory can be destabilized and become prone to modifications. This phenomenon has been demonstrated in a number of brain regions, but the neuronal mechanisms that rule memory destabilization and its boundary conditions remain elusive. Using two distinct computational models that combine Hebbian plasticity and synaptic downscaling, we show that homeostatic plasticity can function as a destabilization mechanism, accounting for behavioral results of protein synthesis inhibition upon reactivation with different re-exposure times. Furthermore, by performing systematic reviews, we identify a series of overlapping molecular mechanisms between memory destabilization and synaptic downscaling, although direct experimental links between both phenomena remain scarce. In light of these results, we propose a theoretical framework where memory destabilization can emerge as an epiphenomenon of homeostatic adaptations prompted by memory retrieval.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-389
JournalLearning & memory
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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