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Dopamine and adaptive memory Daphna Shohamy1*

Summary: Dopamine and adaptive memory
Daphna Shohamy1*
and R. Alison Adcock2*
Department of Psychology, Columbia University, New York, NY 10025, USA
Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, B253 Levine Science Research Center, Duke University, Box 90999, Durham, NC 27708, USA
Memory is essential to adaptive behavior because it
allows past experience to guide choices. Emerging find-
ings indicate that the neurotransmitter dopamine, which
signals motivationally important events, also modulates
the hippocampus, a crucial brain system for long-term
memory. Here we review recent evidence that highlights
multiple mechanisms whereby dopamine biases memo-
ry towards events that are of motivational significance.
These effects take place over a variety of timescales,
permitting both expectations and outcomes to influence
memory. Thus, dopamine ensures that memories are
relevant and accessible for future adaptive behavior, a
concept we refer to as `adaptive memory'. Understand-


Source: Adcock, R. Alison - Center for Cognitive Neuroscience & Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Duke University
Shohamy, Daphna - Department of Psychology, Columbia University


Collections: Biology and Medicine