Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Memory reconsolidation mediates the strengthening of memories by additional learning


Memories are dynamic, rather than static, in nature. The reactivation of a memory through re-exposure to salient training stimuli results in its destabilization, necessitating a restabilization process known as reconsolidation, a disruption of which leads to amnesia. I found that one normal function of hippocampal memory reconsolidation in rats is to modify the strength of a contextual-fear memory as a result of further learning.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: The cellular mechanisms of memory consolidation and strengthening differ.
Figure 2: Memory strengthening requires destabilization and reconsolidation.


  1. Nader, K. Trends Neurosci. 26, 65–72 (2003).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Dudai, Y. Curr. Opin. Neurobiol. 16, 174–178 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Sara, S.J. Learn. Mem. 7, 73–84 (2000).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Tronel, S., Milekic, M.H. & Alberini, C.M. PLoS Biol. 3, e293 (2005).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Morris, R.G. et al. Neuron 50, 479–489 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Rodriguez-Ortiz, C.J. et al. Neurobiol. Learn. Mem. 89, 352–359 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Lee, J.L.C., Everitt, B.J. & Thomas, K.L. Science 304, 839–843 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Lee, S.H. et al. Science 319, 1253–1256 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Duvarci, S. & Nader, K. J. Neurosci. 24, 9269–9275 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Rudy, J.W. et al. Learn. Mem. 13, 1–3 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Dudai, Y. Annu. Rev. Psychol. 55, 51–86 (2004).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Pelloux, Y., Everitt, B.J. & Dickinson, A. Psychopharmacology (Berl.) 194, 127–137 (2007).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Ben Mamou, C., Gamache, K. & Nader, K. Nat. Neurosci. 9, 1237–1239 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Suzuki, A. et al. Learn. Mem. 15, 426–433 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


I'd like to thank B.J. Everitt and D. Belin for helpful discussions, as well as Y. Pelloux and M. Wood for practical cooperation. This work was supported by a grant from the Royal Society and was conducted in the MRC/Wellcome Trust Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute, Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Cambridge (UK).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jonathan L C Lee.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Text and Figures

Supplementary Figures 1–7 and Supplementary Methods (PDF 2561 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Lee, J. Memory reconsolidation mediates the strengthening of memories by additional learning. Nat Neurosci 11, 1264–1266 (2008).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing