Hippocampus leads ventral striatum in replay of place-reward information.
Associating spatial locations with rewards is fundamental to survival in natural environments and requires the integrity of the hippocampus and ventral striatum.
In joint multineuron recordings from these areas, hippocampal-striatal ensembles reactivated together during sleep. This process was especially strong in pairs in which the hippocampal cell processed spatial information and ventral striatal firing correlated to reward. Replay was dominated by cell pairs in which the hippocampal "place" cell fired preferentially before the striatal reward-related neuron. Our results suggest a plausible mechanism for consolidating place-reward associations and are consistent with a central tenet of consolidation theory, showing that the hippocampus leads reactivation in a projection area.