Dr Jonathan Lee MA PhD

Dr Jonathan Lee

School of Psychology
Professor of Memory Neuroscience

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr. Jonathan Lee is a behavioural neuroscientist primarily interested in the mechanisms and functions of memory processes. In particular, he currently studies the phenomenon of memory reconsolidation, which may have applications in the understanding of and treatment of conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder and drug addiction.

Find out more about Jonathans role at Memory Birmingham.


MA (Cantab)
PhD (Cantab) 

Postgraduate supervision

Jonathan Lee's research is focused on the basic mechanisms of learning and memory. These range from the neural circuits that support memory acquisition and persistence, to the cellular mechanisms that operate within those circuits. In particular, he is interested in the different phases that occur in the lifetime of a memory: acquisition, stabilisation and retrieval/expression. His recent work has paid particular attention to the phenomenon of memory reconsolidation, whereby a memory may be modified after its retrieval, perhaps to maintain its adaptive relevance.

The study of memory reconsolidation is a major focus of Dr Lee's research, especially in relation to conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder and drug addiction which depend largely upon the formation of extremely powerful and persistent emotional memories. It may be possible, therefore, to reduce the impact of these memories by blocking their reconsolidation. By using preclinical models of emotional learning and memory, Dr Lee's work explores the clinical benefits of such an approach.





Posttraumatic stress disorder

Drug addiction



Recent publications


Espinelli Amorim, F, Chapot, R, Moulin, T, Lee, J & Amaral, O 2021, 'Memory destabilization during reconsolidation – a consequence of homeostatic plasticity?', Learning & memory, vol. 28, no. 10, pp. 371-389. https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.053418.121

Drame, ML, Balaet, M & Lee, J 2020, 'Memory reconsolidation impairments in sign-tracking to an audiovisual compound stimulus', Behavioural Brain Research, vol. 393, 112774. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2020.112774

Flavell, C, Gascoyne, R & Lee, J 2020, 'Post-reactivation mifepristone impairs generalisation of strongly- conditioned contextual fear memories', Learning & memory.

Lee, JLC, Amorim, FE, Cassini, LF & Amaral, OB 2019, 'Different temporal windows for CB1 receptor involvement in contextual fear memory destabilisation in the amygdala and hippocampus', PLoS ONE, vol. 14, no. 1, e0205781. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0205781

Flavell, C & Lee, J 2019, 'Dopaminergic D1 receptor signalling is necessary, but not sufficient for cued fear memory destabilisation', Psychopharmacology, vol. 236, no. 12, pp. 3667-3676. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-019-05338-5

Exton-McGuinness, M, Drame, ML, Flavell, C & Lee, J 2019, 'On the resistance to relapse to cocaine seeking following impairment of instrumental cocaine memory reconsolidation', Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, vol. 13, 242, pp. 1-11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2019.00242

Tay, KR, Flavell, C, de Freitas Cassini, L, Wimber, M & Lee, J 2019, 'Postretrieval relearning strengthens hippocampal memories via destabilization and reconsolidation', The Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 39, no. 6, pp. 1109-1118. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2618-18.2018

Lee, J, Bertoglio, L, Guimaraes, F & Stevenson, CW 2017, 'Cannabidiol regulation of emotion and emotional memory processing: relevance for treating anxiety-related and substance abuse disorders', British Journal of Pharmacology. https://doi.org/10.1111/bph.13724

de Freitas Cassini, L, Flavell, C, Amaral, O & Lee, J 2017, 'On the transition from reconsolidation to extinction of contextual fear memories', Learning & memory, vol. 24, pp. 392-399. https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.045724.117

Song, C, Stevenson, CW, Guimaraes, F & Lee, J 2016, 'Bidirectional effects of cannabidiol on contextual fear memory extinction', Frontiers in Pharmacology, vol. 7, 493. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2016.00493

Jurkus, R, Day, H, Guimaraes, F, Lee, J, Bertoglio, L & Stevenson, CW 2016, 'Cannabidiol regulation of learned fear: implications for treating anxiety-related disorders', Frontiers in Pharmacology, vol. 7, pp. 454. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2016.00454/full

Heath, FC, Jurkus, R, Bast, T, Pezze, MA, Lee, JLC, Voigt, JP & Stevenson, CW 2015, 'Dopamine D1-like receptor signalling in the hippocampus and amygdala modulates the acquisition of contextual fear conditioning', Psychopharmacology, vol. 232, no. 14, pp. 2619-2629. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-015-3897-y

Exton-McGuinness, M & Lee, J 2015, 'Reduction in responding for sucrose and cocaine reinforcement by disruption of memory reconsolidation', eNeuro, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1523/ENEURO.0009-15.2015

Lee, JLC & Flavell, CR 2014, 'Inhibition and enhancement of contextual fear memory destabilization', Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, vol. 8, 144. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00144

Review article

Lee, J, Nader, K & Schiller, D 2017, 'An update on memory reconsolidation updating', Trends in Cognitive Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2017.04.006

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