UCL logo

UCL Discovery

UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Postretrieval new learning does not reliably induce human memory updating via reconsolidation

Hardwicke, TE; Taqi, M; Shanks, DR; (2016) Postretrieval new learning does not reliably induce human memory updating via reconsolidation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America , 113 (19) pp. 5206-5211. 10.1073/pnas.1601440113. Green open access

[img]
Preview
Text
Hardwicke_et_al_2016_accepted.pdf

Download (735kB) | Preview

Abstract

Reconsolidation theory proposes that retrieval can destabilize an existing memory trace, opening a time-dependent window during which that trace is amenable to modification. Support for the theory is largely drawn from nonhuman animal studies that use invasive pharmacological or electroconvulsive interventions to disrupt a putative postretrieval restabilization ("reconsolidation") process. In human reconsolidation studies, however, it is often claimed that postretrieval new learning can be used as a means of "updating" or "rewriting" existing memory traces. This proposal warrants close scrutiny because the ability to modify information stored in the memory system has profound theoretical, clinical, and ethical implications. The present study aimed to replicate and extend a prominent 3-day motor-sequence learning study [Walker MP, Brakefield T, Hobson JA, Stickgold R (2003) Nature 425(6958):616-620] that is widely cited as a convincing demonstration of human reconsolidation. However, in four direct replication attempts (n = 64), we did not observe the critical impairment effect that has previously been taken to indicate disruption of an existing motor memory trace. In three additional conceptual replications (n = 48), we explored the broader validity of reconsolidation-updating theory by using a declarative recall task and sequences similar to phone numbers or computer passwords. Rather than inducing vulnerability to interference, memory retrieval appeared to aid the preservation of existing sequence knowledge relative to a no-retrieval control group. These findings suggest that memory retrieval followed by new learning does not reliably induce human memory updating via reconsolidation.

Type: Article
Title: Postretrieval new learning does not reliably induce human memory updating via reconsolidation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1601440113
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1601440113
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 National Academy of Sciences.
Keywords: forgetting, memory updating, reconsolidation, replication, sequence learning
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1490313
Downloads since deposit
169Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item