The hippocampus and the striatum are thought to play distinct roles in learning and memory, each supporting an independent memory system. A fundamental question is whether, and how, these systems interact to jointly contribute to learning and memory. In particular, it remains unknown whether the striatum contributes selectively to implicit, habitual learning, or whether the striatum may also contribute to long-term episodic memory. Here, we show with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) that the hippocampus and the striatum interact cooperatively to support episodic memory formation. Participants were scanned during a memory encoding paradigm and, subsequently, were tested for memory of encoded items. fMRIdata revealed that successful memory was associated with greater activity in both the hippocampus and the striatum (putamen) during encoding. Furthermore, activity in the hippocampus and the striatum was correlated within subjects for items that were later remembered, but not for items that were forgotten. Finally, across subjects, the strength of the correlation between the hippocampus and the striatum predicted memory success. These findings provide novel evidence for contributions of both the striatum and the hippocampus to successful episodic encoding and for a cooperative interaction between them.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience