Congrats to Cris, Esther, et al., for getting their paper in Journal of Neuroscience. Recent behavioral research has shown that reward prediction errors (RPEs), a key concept of reinforcement learning theory, are crucial to the formation of episodic memories. In this study we reveal the neural underpinnings of this process. Using fMRI, we show that signed RPEs (SRPEs) are encoded in the ventral striatum (VS), and crucially, that SRPE VS activity is responsible for the subsequent recollection accuracy of one-shot learned episodic memory associations.
Reference: Calderon, C. B., De Loof, E., Ergo, K., Snoeck, A., Boehler, C. N., & Verguts, T. (2021). Signed Reward Prediction Errors in the Ventral Striatum Drive Episodic Memory. Journal of Neuroscience.