The Curent Understanding of the Neurobiology of Memory Reconsolidation and Its Implications for Psychology

1863 Words Feb 17th, 2018 7 Pages
This paper will specifically focus on the molecular mechanisms of reconsolidation and research relating to fear memories and using propranolol and D-cycloserine as a treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. Memory consolidation is the process by which memories are stabilised after being acquired. Consolidation studies have traditionally focused on the hippocampus and systems consolidation, where short term memories become long term memories and independent of the hippocampus over time (Pinel, 2011). The more recently discovered process of consolidation is synaptic consolidation, where memory is encoded within hours, and requires protein synthesis and gene transcription (Pinel, 2011). Long term memories were once considered to be stable, but within the last decade, the discovery of reconsolidation, the process in which stored memories can be retrieved and held in labile short-term memory, has changed theory and research on memory (Pinel, 2011). The potential ability to modify established emotional memories through the processes of reconsolidation has important implications for the treatment of many mental disorders, including anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
The neurobiological process of synaptic memory consolidation is thought to be long-term potentiation (LTP), which is the prolonged strengthening of the…