Memory-Guided Attention: Independent Contributions of the Hippocampus and Striatum

Elizabeth V. Goldfarb, Marvin M. Chun, Elizabeth A. Phelps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Memory can strongly influence how attention is deployed in future encounters. Though memory dependent on the medial temporal lobes has been shown to drive attention, how other memory systems could concurrently and comparably enhance attention is less clear. Here, we demonstrate that both reinforcement learning and context memory facilitate attention in a visual search task. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we dissociate the mechanisms by which these memories guide attention: trial by trial, the hippocampus (not the striatum) predicted attention benefits from context memory, while the striatum (not the hippocampus) predicted facilitation from rewarded stimulus-response associations. Responses in these regions were also distinctly correlated with individual differences in each type of memory-guided attention. This study provides novel evidence for the role of the striatum in guiding attention, dissociable from hippocampus-dependent context memory. Goldfarb et al. show that attention can be implicitly and concurrently guided by multiple memory systems. Striatal and hippocampal activity independently predict subsequent attention driven by stimulus-response and context memory, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-324
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Memory-Guided Attention: Independent Contributions of the Hippocampus and Striatum'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this