Retrieval of a memory appears to render it unstable until the memory is once again re-stabilized or reconsolidated. Although the occurrence and consequences of reconsolidation have received much attention in recent years, the specific mechanisms that underlie the process of reconsolidation have not been fully described. Here, we present the first electrophysiological model of the synaptic plasticity changes underlying the different stages of reconsolidation of a conditioned fear memory. In this model, retrieval of a fear memory results in immediate but transient alterations in synaptic plasticity, mediated by modified expression of the glutamate receptor subunits GluA1 and GluA2 in the hippocampus of rodents. Retrieval of a memory results in an immediate impairment in LTP, which is enhanced 6h following memory retrieval. Conversely, memory retrieval results in an immediate enhancement of LTD, which decreases with time. These changes in plasticity are accompanied by decreased expression of GluA2 receptor subunits. Recovery of LTP and LTD correlates with progressive overexpression of GluA2 receptor subunits. The contribution of the GluA2 receptor was confirmed by interfering with receptor expression at the postsynaptic sites. Blocking GluA2 endocytosis restored LTP and attenuated LTD during the initial portion of the reconsolidation period. These findings suggest that altered GluA2 receptor expression is one of the mechanisms that controls different forms of synaptic plasticity during reconsolidation.