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Turnbull, O. Pally, R. (2001). Research Digest. Neuropsychoanalysis, 3(1):135-140.

(2001). Neuropsychoanalysis, 3(1):135-140

Research Digest

Review by:
Oliver Turnbull

Regina Pally

Featured Article

Wolf, N. F., Gales, M., Shane, E., & Shane, M. (2000), Fear memories require protein synthesis in the amygdala for reconsolidation after retrieval. Nature, 406:722-726. This paper introduces the physiological basis for an important novel concept in our understanding of memory consolidation. The finding suggests that the process of retrieving a memory opens it up to the potential for disruption before reconsolidation. Thus, a memory (in this case for fear), which has already been well encoded, can be “erased” when disrupted during retrieval. In this experiment, rats were amnesic for previously learned items when a drug (anisomycin) was administered during memory retrieval. The effect was found to be equally effective from 1 to 14 days after training. In narrow terms, the finding is probably one of the physiological bases for the reason that recall is more a process of activeremembering,” than one of passive recall of a fixed memory. In more general terms, it offers the physiological foundation for the range of well-described manipulations and distortions of memory (cf. Nachtraglichkeit), which are well known in the psychological literature (for example in the work of Elizabeth Loftus).


Iacoboni, M., Woods, R. P., Brass, M., Bekkering, H., Mazziotta, J. C., & Rizzolatti, G. (1999), Cortical mechanisms of human imitation. Science, 286:2526-2528.

Nader, K., Schafe, G. E., & LeDoux, J. E. (2000), Mirror neurons, procedural learning, and the positive new experience: A developmental systems self psychology approach. J. Am. Acad. Psychoanal. Dyn. Psychiatr., 28:409-430.

Rizzolatti, G.

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