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Polygence Scholar2024
Leran Xie's profile

Leran Xie

Class of 2025



  • "The Neuroscience of Motivated Memory" with mentor Ian (Jan. 30, 2024)

Project Portfolio

The Neuroscience of Motivated Memory

Started Oct. 5, 2023

Abstract or project description

Motivation is essential to memory because it ensures important memories are prioritized for future behavior. Recent studies have looked into the multi-faceted relationship between motivation and memory; other biological evidence which links motivation and memory has given rise to an examination of the underlying neurobiological basis that facilitates this connection. The neurotransmitter dopamine is strongly associated with motivation. Particularly, midbrain dopamine neurons in the reward-regulating ventral tegmental area which project to the hippocampus are well-positioned to enable a motivational influence on memory formation. This prompts an examination of the differing effects of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation on memory encoding and consolidation, as well evidence supporting the crucial role of coordinated activity between the mesolimbic pathway and the hippocampus. In this review, we first look into hypotheses about the biological processes through which dopamine is associated with reward motivation and memory. We then examine and summarize the neurobiologic hypotheses and recent evidence on the interplay between motivation and declarative memory with a focus on dopamine as the linking mechanism.