Reactivation-dependent amnesia in Pavlovian approach and instrumental transfer

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Colleges, School and Institutes


The theory of memory reconsolidation relates to the hypothesized restabilisation process that occurs following the reactivation of a memory through retrieval. Thus the demonstration of reactivation-dependent amnesia for a previously acquired memory is a prerequisite for showing that such a memory undergoes reconsolidation. Here we show that the appetitive Pavlovian representations that underlie Pavlovian approach and Pavlovian-instrumental transfer are destabilized following their retrieval. This reactivation-dependent amnesia demonstrates that the general motivational or incentive properties of appetitive conditioned stimuli, as well as their conditioned reinforcing properties, can be reduced by blocking memory reconsolidation.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-602
Number of pages6
JournalLearning & memory
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008