"Specific impairments of consolidation, reconsolidation and long-term memory maintenance lead to memory erasure. Targeting memories as a new therapeutic approach to psychopathologies" with Prof Karim Nader

Past Event

26 March 2018, 1:00pm - 2:00pm

Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

This lecture is organised by the Programme on Mind and Machine and The Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour

Memory reconsolidation is the process in which reactivated long-term memory (LTM) becomes transiently sensitive to amnesic agents that are effective at consolidation. The phenomenon was first described more than 50 years ago but did not fit the dominant paradigm that posited that consolidation takes place only once per LTM item. Reconsolidation was revitalised a decade ago using auditory fear conditioning in the rat and was shown to involve neural circuitry in the basolateral amygdala. Since then, reconsolidation has been demonstrated with many species, tasks, and amnesic agents, and cellular and molecular correlates of reconsolidation have been identified. Professor Nader will discuss the evidence on which reconsolidation is based, and why specific impairments in consolidation, reconsolidation and LTM maintenance always lead to memory erasure.

He will also refer to potential clinical implications of reconsolidation. These include the ability to cause the synaptic circuit manifestations of a variety of psychopathologies to become transiently un-stored. If the mechanisms mediating restabilisation of these circuit changes are prevented by behavioural or pharmacological intervention, an individual’s psychopathology could be reduced within a single session. This approach has been shown to work for PTSD,
drug-cue induced craving, and Phobias.

For further information, please contact Fiona Woods at fiona.woods@cncb.ox.ac.uk

About the speaker

Professor Karim Nader obtained his PhD in 1996 from University of Toronto. He was a postdoctoral fellow at New York University, with Joseph LeDoux before becoming an independent Professor at McGill University. Amongst other honours, in 2006 he was selected in the ‘Canadian Top 40 under 40’ and was listed in Canada’s ‘Who’s Who’ in 2010.