ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (2): 240-251.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2020.00240

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Behavioral intervention of emotional memory reconsolidation: From bench to bedside

CHEN Wei1,2,3, LI Junjiao4, LING Xiaoyi1, ZHANG Xiaoxia1, ZHENG Xifu1,2,3()   

  1. 1 School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
    2 Center for Studies of Psychological Application, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
    3 Guangdong Key Laboratory of Mental Health and Cognitive Science, Guangzhou 510631, China
    4 College of Teacher Education, Guangdong University of Education, Guangzhou 510303, China
  • Received:2019-05-12 Online:2020-02-15 Published:2019-12-25
  • Contact: ZHENG Xifu


A consolidated memory trace can go back to an unstable state after reactivation and become susceptible to modulation, as long as it conforms to specific conditions. Memory reactivation serves as opening a short time window for the labile trace of memory be modified before coming into a new round of consolidation which is called the reconsolidation. It provides a transient opportunity to strengthen memories or disrupt undesired and maladaptive memories, so as to open avenues for developing a revolutionary treatment for emotional memory disorders. Behavioral intervention, however, is of especial significance in human studies as well as the clinical translation practice; and has been demonstrated as an effective way to interfere with destabilized memories. However, even in simple laboratory models, the conditions for inducing memory reconsolidation are complex, which highlights difficulties and challenges for clinical translation. We reviewed the main evidence and advances in the behavioral interference of memory reconsolidation, both in the laboratory and clinical practice. Future research can find its way to set up a more ecological experimental model to simulate the actual trauma and to build an optimal procedure to trigger and intervene memory reconsolidation. Additionally, the cooperation of studies of the neurophysiological, cellular and molecular levels is needed to deepen our understanding of the internal mechanism underlying the paradigm.

Key words: memory reconsolidation, behavioral intervention, emotional memory, translational science

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