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Learn Mem. 2017 Feb 15;24(3):115-122. doi: 10.1101/lm.043083.116. Print 2017 Mar.

Updating of aversive memories after temporal error detection is differentially modulated by mTOR across development.

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Institut des Neurosciences Paris-Saclay (Neuro-PSI), UMR 9197, Université Paris Sud, CNRS, Université Paris Saclay, 91405 Orsay, France.
Emotional Brain Institute, Center for Neural Science, New York University, New York, New York 10003, USA.
Emotional Brain Institute, Nathan Kline Institute, Orangeburg, New York 10962, USA.
Child Study Center Institute for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, New York 10016, USA.
Centre de Recherche en Neurosciences de Lyon, CNRS UMR 5292-INSERM U1028-Université Lyon 1, France.


The updating of a memory is triggered whenever it is reactivated and a mismatch from what is expected (i.e., prediction error) is detected, a process that can be unraveled through the memory's sensitivity to protein synthesis inhibitors (i.e., reconsolidation). As noted in previous studies, in Pavlovian threat/aversive conditioning in adult rats, prediction error detection and its associated protein synthesis-dependent reconsolidation can be triggered by reactivating the memory with the conditioned stimulus (CS), but without the unconditioned stimulus (US), or by presenting a CS-US pairing with a different CS-US interval than during the initial learning. Whether similar mechanisms underlie memory updating in the young is not known. Using similar paradigms with rapamycin (an mTORC1 inhibitor), we show that preweaning rats (PN18-20) do form a long-term memory of the CS-US interval, and detect a 10-sec versus 30-sec temporal prediction error. However, the resulting updating/reconsolidation processes become adult-like after adolescence (PN30-40). Our results thus show that while temporal prediction error detection exists in preweaning rats, specific infant-type mechanisms are at play for associative learning and memory.

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