November 2012

Document Type


Degree Name



Dept. of Behavioral Neuroscience


Oregon Health & Science University


The simple act of retrieving a memory has potential to modify a memory as it is updated in response to a changing environment. For example, longer or repeated re-exposures to a previously reinforced stimulus often result in greater extinction and response loss while brief exposures may strengthen the memory or its expression. However, we know little about the mechanisms that produce these bidirectional changes at behavioral and neurobiological levels of analysis. Therefore, the focus of this dissertation was to use contextual fear conditioning in mice as a vehicle to evaluate the behavioral and brain region-specific transcriptional changes (e.g., histone acetylation and gene expression) that underlie retrieval-induced changes. In Chapter 1, I investigated whether the learning and memory processes engaged by acquisition were similar to those engaged by retrieval. This was studied by administering amnestic agents (e.g., anisomycin), memory-enhancing agents (e.g., the histone deacetylase




School of Medicine



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