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Science. 1968 May 3;160(3827):554-5.

Retrograde amnesia produced by electroconvulsive shock after reactivation of a consolidated memory trace.


Rats had a memory loss of a fear response when they received an electroconvulsive shock 24 hours after the fear-conditioning trial and preceded by a brief presentation of the conditioned stimulus. No such loss occurred when the conditioned stimulus was not presented. The memory loss in animals given electroconvulsive shock 24 hours after conditioning was, furthermore, as great as that displayed in animals given electroconvulsive shock immediately after conditioning. This result throws doubt on the assertion that electroconvulsive shock exerts a selective amnesic effect on recently acquired memories and thus that electroconvulsive shock produces amnesia solely through interference with memory trace consolidation.

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