Encoding-retrieval overlap in human episodic memory: a functional neuroimaging perspective


The principle of transfer-appropriate processing and the cortical reinstatement hypothesis are two influential theoretical frameworks, articulated at the psychological and neurobiological levels of explanation, respectively, that each propose that the processes supporting the encoding and retrieval of episodic information are strongly interdependent. Here, we integrate these two frameworks into a single model that generates predictions that can be tested using functional neuroimaging methods in healthy humans, and then go on to describe findings that are in accord with these predictions. Consistent with the transfer-appropriate processing and cortical reinstatement frameworks, the neural correlates of successful encoding vary according to how retrieval is cued, and the neural correlates of retrieval are modulated by how items are encoded. Thus, encoding and retrieval should not be viewed as separate stages of memory that can be investigated in isolation from one another.

Progress in Brain Research, 169, 339–352