Motivated memories: Effects of reward and recollection in the core recollection network and beyond

Rachael L. Elward, Kaia L. Vilberg, Michael D. Rugg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


fMRI was employed to assess whether the neural correlates of accurate source memory are modulated by the reward value of recollected information. Study items comprised pictures of objects, each paired with a depiction of 1 of 2 coins. The reward value of the coins ($2.00 vs. $0.02) was disclosed after study. At test, a source memory procedure was employed in which subjects discriminated between studied and unstudied objects and, for objects judged studied, indicated the identity of the coin paired with the object at study. Correct judgments earned a reward corresponding to the value of the coin, whereas incorrect judgments were penalized. No regions were identified where the magnitude of recollection effects was modulated by reward. Exclusive effects of source accuracy were evident in the hippocampus. Different striatal sub-regions demonstrated exclusive recollection effects, exclusive reward effects, and overlap between the 2 effects. The left angular gyrus and medial prefrontal cortex were additively responsive to source accuracy and the reward. The findings suggest that reward value and recollection success are conjointly but independently represented in at least 2 cortical regions and that striatal retrieval success effects cannot be accounted for in terms of a single construct, such as goal satisfaction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3159-3166
Number of pages8
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number9
Early online date28 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015


  • angular gyrus
  • fMRI
  • hippocampus
  • retrieval
  • salience
  • striatum

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