Although the human hippocampus is necessary for long-Term memory, controversial findings suggest that it may also support short-Term memory in the service of guiding effective behaviors during learning. We tested the counterintuitive theory that the hippocampus contributes to long-Term memory through remarkably short-Term processing, as reflected in eye movements during scene encoding. While viewing scenes for the first time, shortterm retrieval operative within the episode over only hundreds of milliseconds was indicated by a specific eye-movement pattern, which was effective in that it enhanced spatiotemporal memory formation. This viewing pattern was predicted by hippocampal theta oscillations recorded from depth electrodes and by shifts toward top-down influence of hippocampal theta on activity within visual perception and attention networks. The hippocampus thus supports short-Term memory processing that coordinates behavior in the service of effective spatiotemporal learning.
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