The hippocampus and caudate nucleus are anatomical components of relatively independent memory systems and recent research has focused on the nature of the interaction between these two systems. The amygdala exerts a general modulatory influence on memory storage processes related, in part, to an organism's level of affective or emotional arousal. Moreover, affective state can influence the use of different memory systems, and the amygdala may mediate this effect of emotion on memory. Recent evidence indicates that the amygdala modulates the separate types of memory mediated by the hippocampus and caudate nucleus. Recent human brain imaging studies also point to both sex- and hemisphere-related asymmetries in amygdala participation in emotionally influenced memory.