Enhancing cognition by affecting memory reconsolidation
Fully consolidated associative memories can undergo a retrieval-dependent reconsolidation process, which allows for the updating and strengthening of the original association. Limiting, or so-called boundary, conditions determine whether a particular retrieval event triggers reconsolidation. Manipulating memories at reconsolidation may offer an opportunity to improve cognitive capacities in humans by increasing memory persistence, specificity and accuracy. Also, preventing the reconsolidation of maladaptive memories that characterize some neuropsychiatric disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder or drug addiction may offer a novel approach to treatment. Here we review recent advances in understanding and manipulating memory reconsolidation in both animals and humans, and discuss the potential of such interventions in cognitive enhancement.