Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Memory consolidation underpins adaptive behavior and dopaminergic networks may be critical for prolonged, selective information storage. To understand the time course of the dopaminergic contribution to memory consolidation in humans, here we investigate the effect of dopaminergic medication on recall and recognition in the short and longer term in Parkinson disease (PD). Fifteen people with PD were each tested on or off dopaminergic medication during learning/early consolidation (Day 1) and/or late consolidation (Day 2). Fifteen age-matched healthy participants were tested only once. On Day 1 participants learned new information, and early episodic memory was tested after 30 min. Then on Day 2, recall and recognition were retested after a 24-hr delay. Participants on medication on Day 1 recalled less information at 30 min and 24 hr. In contrast, patients on medication on Day 2 (8-24 hr after learning) recalled more information at 24 hr than those off medication. Although recognition sensitivity was unaffected by medication, response bias was dependent on dopaminergic state: Medication during learning induced a more liberal bias 24 hr later, whereas patients off medication during learning were more conservative responders 24 hr later. We use computational modeling to propose possible mechanisms for this change in response bias. In summary, dopaminergic medication in PD patients during learning impairs early consolidation of episodic memory and makes delayed responses more liberal, but enhances late memory consolidation presumably through a dopamine-dependent consolidation pathway that may be active during sleep.

Original publication




Journal article


J Cogn Neurosci

Publication Date





2035 - 2050


Aged, Dopamine, Dopamine Agents, Female, Humans, Learning, Male, Memory, Episodic, Mental Recall, Parkinson Disease, Recognition (Psychology), Time Factors