Reconsolidation of human motor memory: From boundary conditions to behavioral interventions—How far are we from clinical applications?

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Abstract

The memory reconsolidation hypothesis states that a previously consolidated and stable memory can return to a temporary labile state after retrieved, requiring a new stabilization process. During the labile period, the memory trace is vulnerable to modification, which provides a potential therapeutic opportunity to weaken, updated or strengthen that memory. As such, reconsolidation has been the subject of numerous studies in different domains of human memory that seek strategies to treat post-traumatic disorders and erase or modify pathological memories. A few studies have also investigated the impairment effects of behavioral interferences on motor memory. However, very little has been researched and written about the possibility of using reconsolidation to enhance motor skill learning. Here, we present a critical review of the literature and trace possible applications for human motor memory reconsolidation. We discuss the boundary conditions and the mechanisms to trigger the reconsolidation process, as well as the effects of behavioral interventions in modifying the performance of motor skills.

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