Previously rewarding environments enhance incidental memory formation

Anatoly Shneyer, Avi Mendelsohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Declarative memory performance is superior for items that were encoded in temporal proximity to reward delivery or expectancy. How reward-predicting contexts affect subsequent declarative memory formation in those contexts are, however, unknown. Using an ecological experimental setup in the form of a naturalistic driving simulator task, we examined the effect that previously rewarded environments may have on incidental memory formation. After driving in two distinct environments, one of which associated with monetary reward, participants drove again in the environments, which were embedded with unique images on billboards. A recognition test 24 h later demonstrated that incidental memory was superior for items presented in the reward-associated environment. These findings suggest that environmental cues imbued with incentive salience promote memory processes even in the absence of reward.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)569-573
Number of pages5
JournalLearning and Memory
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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