Initially, the memory is in a fragile state and can be disrupted by several types of interference, including behavioral, pharmacological, and electrical.Over time, the memory becomes resilient to these forms of interference through the process known as consolidation (Alberini, Bambah-Mukku, & Chen, 2012; Davis & Squire, 1984; Mc Gaugh, 2000).The hippocampus is critical to the formation of memories of events and facts.Information regarding an event is not instantaneously stored in long-term memory.For example, the consolidation of medial temporal lobe-dependent memories, in addition to the cellular consolidation events just described, also involves a redistribution of the memory trace, such that it transitions from hippocampal-dependent to hippocampal-independent (Squire & Alvarez, 1995; Squire, Clark, & Knowlton, 2001; Squire, Stark, & Clark, 2004).
Some evidence supports the idea that, although these forms of memory often last a lifetime, the hippocampus ceases to play a crucial role in the retention of memory after the period of consolidation.
The findings that stabilized memories can become labile have challenged the classical view of how memories are consolidated over time and stored.
On the other hand, the reconsolidation process is not fully understood, and theories about the nature and function of memory reconsolidation remain controversial.
In this paper, I will present my view on some of the controversial issues of memory reconsolidation and propose a hypothetical model for how this process contributes to memory stabilization.
The debated issues that will be discussed are: (1) The term reconsolidation; (2) Temporal constraints of memory reconsolidation; (3) Classical theory of memory consolidation versus theory of memory reconsolidation; (4) Procedural constraints: what is it that needs to be reactivated to produce memory fragility?
Memory consolidation is a category of processes that stabilize a memory trace after its initial acquisition.