9YExtinction: Does It or Doesn't It? The Requirement of Altered Gene Activity and New Protein Synthesis

K. Matthew Lattal*, Jelena Radulovic, Ken Lukowiak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Many accounts of memory suggest that an initial learning experience initiates a cascade of cellular and molecular events that are required for the consolidation of memory from a labile into a more permanent state. Studies of memory in many species have routinely found that altered gene activity and new protein synthesis are the critical components of this memory consolidation process. During extinction, when organisms learn that previously established relations between stimuli have been severed, new memories are formed and consolidated. However, the nature of the learning that underlies extinction remains unclear and there are many processes that may contribute to the weakening of behavior that occurs during extinction. In this review, we suggest that the molecular mechanisms that underlie extinction may differ depending on the learning process that is engaged by extinction. We review evidence that extinction, like initial learning, requires transcription and translation, as well as evidence that extinction occurs when protein synthesis is inhibited. We suggest that extinction occurs through the interaction of multiple behavioral and molecular mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-351
Number of pages8
JournalBiological psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 2006


  • Extinction
  • Lymnaea
  • behavioral mechanisms
  • memory
  • molecular mechanisms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry


Dive into the research topics of '9YExtinction: Does It or Doesn't It? The Requirement of Altered Gene Activity and New Protein Synthesis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this