Post-extinction Delay Necessary to Induce Retrograde Amnesia for a Moderate Extinction Training Memory

The Open Psychology Journal 29 July 2016 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874350101609011866


Two experiments using rats were conducted to evaluate the post-extinction delay necessary to obtain retrograde amnesia for a moderate extinction training memory. In Experiment 1, six minutes of extinction (i.e., cue-exposure) was sufficient to reduce fear of the black compartment of a white-black shuttle box, however the amnestic treatment cycloheximide (CHX) failed to produce retrograde amnesia for extinction (i.e., show fear). In Experiment 2, CHX was administered at various post-extinction delays (0-min, 60-min, 75-min, 120-min) to assess whether the active extinction memory could be susceptible to amnesia if the original fear memory had time to reconsolidate. The results indicated that administrating CHX 75 minutes after extinction produced retrograde amnesia for extinction, but not for shorter post-extinction delays, thus demonstrating a temporal gradient. These findings suggest that the extinction memory was active and susceptible to disruption 75 minutes after the extinction session, but the original fear memory may have been protected from the amnestic effects with sufficient time to reconsolidate.

Keywords: Consolidation, Cycloheximide, Extinction, Rat, Reconsolidation, Retrograde amnesia.
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