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Exclusive Consolidated Memory Phases in Drosophila

Science  14 May 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5673, pp. 1024-1027
DOI: 10.1126/science.1094932

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Abstract

Two types of consolidated memory have been described in Drosophila, anesthesia-resistant memory (ARM), a shorter-lived form, and stabilized long-term memory (LTM). Until now, it has been thought that ARM and LTM coexist. On the contrary, we show that LTM formation leads to the extinction of ARM. Flies devoid of mushroom body vertical lobes cannot form LTM, but spaced conditioning can still erase their ARM, resulting in a remarkable situation: The more these flies are trained, the less they remember. We propose that ARM acts as a gating mechanism that ensures that LTM is formed only after repetitive and spaced training.

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