I’m not sure if this has any practical application for creating mnemonic images, but it might interest people.
The findings that Giocomo and her colleagues have now reported in Science point to exactly that conclusion: Having a goal seems to affect how the brain encodes its spatial environment, and possibly much more.
It’s been a misunderstanding to think that the brain has a representation of space that is “pure” and uncontaminated by considerations of relevance or reward, he added. “These things are really intimately tied together” and can’t be so neatly divorced.
That also implies that how we form memories — and which memories we form — depends on what we’re trying to do. Not all memories, locations and experiences are created equal (or at least they’re not encoded that way).