Time-dependent mnemonic vulnerability induced by new-learning

Journal Article

Reactivation renders consolidated memory labile again, and the ensuing temporary reconsolidation process is highly susceptible to mnemonic modification. Here, we show that memories in such an unstable state could be reprogrammed by sheer behavioral means, bypassing the need for pharmacological intervention. In two experiments using a “face-location associationc” paradigm in which participants experienced a “Learning – New-learning – Final-test” programme, we demonstrate that reactivated memory traces were robustly hampered when the new learning was strategically administered within a critical 20-minute time window. Using fMRI, we further advance our theoretical understanding that this lability can be mechanistically explained by the differential activation in the hippocampal-amygdala memory system implicated by the new-learning whereas the mnemonic intrusion caused by newly learned memories is efficaciously reconciled by the left inferior frontal gyrus. Our findings provide important implications for educational and clinical practices in devising effective strategies for memory integration.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Shen, F; Ku, Y; Wu, J; Cui, Y; Li, J; Wang, Z; Wang, H; Kwok, SC

Published Date

  • 2018

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1101/281261