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Synapse-specific reconsolidation of distinct fear memories in the lateral amygdala


When reactivated, memories enter a labile, protein synthesis–dependent state, a process referred to as reconsolidation. Here, we show in rats that fear memory retrieval produces a synaptic potentiation in the lateral amygdala that is selective to the reactivated memory, and that disruption of reconsolidation is correlated with a reduction of synaptic potentiation in the lateral amygdala. Thus, both retrieval and reconsolidation alter memories via synaptic plasticity at selectively targeted synapses.

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Figure 1: Selective reconsolidation of a fear memory.
Figure 2: Retrieval and reconsolidation alter memories via synaptic plasticity in lateral amygdala (LA).


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This research was supported by grants to J.E.L. (Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health Grants R37 MH38774, R01 MH46516, P50 MH58911 and K05 MH067048, Volkswagen-Stiftung Grant I- 79 894 and Human Frontier Science Program Grant RGP0094-2001-B). M.-H.M is funded by the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council. V.D. is funded by EU FP6 frameprogram-integrated project PROMEMORIA, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique–National Science Foundation Grant 17089 and CNRS-PICS.

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V.D. designed the experiments, conducted the electrophysiological experiments, analyzed the data, interpreted the results, wrote the initial manuscript and was involved in the revision process. J.D. was involved in the design of the studies, conducting the experiments, the data analysis, the interpretation of the results and the preparation and revision of the manuscript. M.-H.M. was involved in data analysis, interpretation of the results and preparation and revision of the manuscript. G.E.S. was involved in the design of the experiments, conducted histological analysis on cannula and electrode placements and participated in preparation and revision the manuscript. J.E.L. was involved in the design of the studies, the interpretation of the results and the preparation and revision of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Joseph E LeDoux.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Doyère, V., Dębiec, J., Monfils, MH. et al. Synapse-specific reconsolidation of distinct fear memories in the lateral amygdala. Nat Neurosci 10, 414–416 (2007).

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