The antibiotic anisomycin (ANI), a protein synthesis inhibitor, was used to investigate the time-related changes in protein synthesis following passive avoidance training in the day-old chick. Retention of memory for this simple learning task is known to be prevented by protein synthesis inhibitors within the first hour post-training. Here we report a second, later time window during which inhibition of protein synthesis results in amnesia following one-trial passive avoidance training. Birds were given bilateral intracranial injections of ANI (10 μl/hemisphere of a 30 mM solution) at various times relative to training and tested 24 h later. Injections given between 0.5 h prior to 1.5 h post-training or 4-5 h post-training, but not at later or at intervening times, resulted in amnesia. These results are discussed in the context of earlier findings, using the inhibitor of glycoprotein synthesis 2-deoxygalactose, that memory formation shows two glycoprotein-synthesis-dependent periods of sensitivity (Scholey, Rose, Zamani, Bock, and Schachner, 1993). The time windows of susceptibility of ANI and 2-Dgal are consistent with a model in which there are two waves of neural activity following training; during the second, commencing 4 h after training, proteins are synthesized and then glycosylated as part of the establishment of an enduring memory trace.