Dopamine and adaptive memory.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Memory is essential to adaptive behavior because it allows past experience to guide choices. Emerging findings 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 memory 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'. Understanding adaptive memory at biological and psychological levels helps to resolve a fundamental challenge in memory research: explaining what is remembered, and why.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Shohamy, D; Adcock, RA

Published Date

  • October 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 14 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 464 - 472

PubMed ID

  • 20829095

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-307X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.tics.2010.08.002


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England