Chronic alcohol consumption (CAC) can lead to the Korsakoff syndrome (KS), a memory deficiency attributed to diencephalie damage and/or to medial temporal or cortical related dysfunction. The etiology of KS remains unclear. Most animal models of KS involve thiaminedeficient diets associated with pyrithiamine treatment. Here we present a mouse model of CAC-induced KS. We demonstrate that CAC-generated retrieval memory deficits in working/ episodic memory tasks, together with a reduction of fear reactivity, result from damage to the mammillary bodies (MB). Experimental lesions of MB in non-alcoholic mice produced the same memory and emotional impairments. Drugs having anxiogenic-like properties counteract such impairments produced by CAC or by MB lesions. We suggest (a) that MB are the essential components of a brain network underlying emotional processes, which would be critically important in the retrieval processes involved in working/ episodic memory tasks, and (b) that failure to maintain emotional arousal due to MB damage can be a main factor of CAC-induced memory deficits. Overall, our animal model fits well with general neuropsychological and anatomic impairments observed in KS.