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    Selective amnesia for previously established memories can be induced by administering drugs that impair protein synthesis shortly after memory reactivation. Competing theoretical accounts attribute this selective post-retrieval amnesia to drug-induced engram degradation (reconsolidation blockade) or to incorporation of sensory features of the reactivation experience into the memory representation, hampering later retrieval in a drug-free state (memory integration). Here we present evidence that critically challenges both accounts. In contextual fear conditioning in rats, we find that amnesia induced by administration of midazolam (MDZ) after reexposure to the training context A generalizes readily to a similar context B. Amnesia is also observed when animals are exposed to the similar context B prior to MDZ administration and later tested for fear to context B but recovers when instead testing for fear to the original training context A or an equally similar but novel context C. Next to their theoretical implications for the nature of forgetting, our findings raise important questions about the viability of reconsolidation-based interventions for the treatment of emotional disorders. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).


    Joaquín M Alfei, Roque I Ferrer Monti, Victor A Molina, Dimitri De Bundel, Laura Luyten, Tom Beckers. Generalization and recovery of post-retrieval amnesia. Journal of experimental psychology. General. 2020 Nov;149(11):2063-2083

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    PMID: 32297779

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