Memory reconsolidation and extinction have distinct temporal and biochemical signatures

Akinobu Suzuki, Sheena A. Josselyn, Paul W. Frankland, Shoichi Masushige, Alcino J. Silva, Satoshi Kida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

876 Citations (Scopus)


Memory retrieval is not a passive phenomenon. Instead, it triggers a number of processes that either reinforce or alter stored information. Retrieval is thought to activate a second memory consolidation cascade (reconsolidation) that requires protein synthesis. Here, we show that the temporal dynamics of memory reconsolidation are dependent on the strength and age of the memory, such that younger and weaker memories are more easily reconsolidated than older and stronger memories. We also report that reconsolidation and extinction, two opposing processes triggered by memory retrieval, have distinct biochemical signatures: pharmacological antagonism of either cannabinoid receptor 1 or L-type voltage-gated calcium channels blocks extinction but not reconsolidation. These studies demonstrate the dynamic nature of memory processing after retrieval and represent a first step toward a molecular dissection of underlying mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4787-4795
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2004 May 19
Externally publishedYes


  • Consolidation
  • Extinction
  • Fear conditioning
  • Protein synthesis
  • Reconsolidation
  • Spatial memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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