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Neuron. 2012 Aug 9;75(3):380-92. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.07.014.

Striatal contributions to declarative memory retrieval.

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Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA.


Declarative memory is known to depend on the medial temporal lobe memory system. Recently, there has been renewed focus on the relationship between the basal ganglia and declarative memory, including the involvement of striatum. However, the contribution of striatum to declarative memory retrieval remains unknown. Here, we review neuroimaging and neuropsychological evidence for the involvement of the striatum in declarative memory retrieval. From this review, we propose that, along with the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the striatum primarily supports cognitive control of memory retrieval. We conclude by proposing three hypotheses for the specific role of striatum in retrieval: (1) striatum modulates the re-encoding of retrieved items in accord with their expected utility (adaptive encoding), (2) striatum selectively admits information into working memory that is expected to increase the likelihood of successful retrieval (adaptive gating), and (3) striatum enacts adjustments in cognitive control based on the outcome of retrieval (reinforcement learning).

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