Second, sleep itself has a role in the consolidation of memory, which is essential for learning new information.Although the exact mechanisms are not known, learning and memory are often described in terms of three functions.These findings are not predicted by traditional theories of memory consolidation. For example, there is considerable evidence that the formation of a long-term memory can be disrupted by certain treatments, such as systemic drug injections or electroconvulsive shock, given shortly after training, but that the same treatments given several hours or days later have no effect.One of the most commonly used drug manipulations involves the administration of drugs that block the translation of RNA into protein.
Each of these steps is necessary for proper memory function.
Studies of this type indicate that memory consolidation involves protein synthesis, which indicates that consolidated memories might become labile when retrieved, and might even require reconsolidation.
Here we examine whether reconsolidation involving protein synthesis is required for retrieved memories to persist.
We use a behavioural paradigm, auditory fear conditioning, for which the neural circuit underlying memory formation is well characterized.
This allows us to manipulate memory at its presumed locus of storage, in contrast to past studies in which drugs were administered systemically.
The diagram in figure 1 is a representation of the memory system: Information moves from (Richards, 2003, p.