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The principles and functions of (hippocampal) memory reconsolidation

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Memory reconsolidation, defined as the process that is sometimes initiated by memory retrieval, the disruption of which leads to amnesia, is a potential target for therapeutics in PTSD and drug addiction. This talk will address some of the central principles of memory reconsolidation. These principles are important both for understanding the putative adaptive function of reconsolidation, and for the optimisation of any translational application. While the talk will be centred nominally on hippocampal contextual fear memories, given our ability to isolate the contribution of reconsolidation to memory processes, it will also draw on findings from other hippocampal and non-hippocampal memories.

- I am very much a Cambridge-trained behavioural neuroscientist, having studied Natural Sciences (Part II Neuroscience) and then undertaken a PhD with Barry Everitt. My initial work was focussed purely on fear memories, in particular the reconsolidation of contextual fear memories. While a post-doc in Barry’s lab, we applied our findings to settings of cue-induced cocaine-seeking , and then the seeking of natural rewards. Since then, both in Cambridge and subsequently in Birmingham, I have been focussed on the basic mechanisms of memory reconsolidation, with a particular emphasis on its adaptive function.

This talk is part of the Zangwill Club series.

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