Memory Retrieval and the Parietal Cortex: A Review of Evidence From a Dual-Process Perspective

Neuropsychologia. 2008;46(7):1787-99. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2008.01.004. Epub 2008 Jan 17.


Although regions of the parietal cortex have been consistently implicated in episodic memory retrieval, the functional roles of these regions remain poorly understood. The present review presents a meta-analysis of findings from event-related fMRI studies reporting the loci of retrieval effects associated with familiarity- and recollection-related recognition judgments. The results of this analysis support previous suggestions that retrieval-related activity in lateral parietal cortex dissociates between superior regions, where activity likely reflects the task relevance of different classes of recognition test items, and more inferior regions where retrieval-related activity appears closely linked to successful recollection. It is proposed that inferior lateral parietal cortex forms part of a neural network supporting the 'episodic buffer' [Baddeley, A. D. (2000). The episodic buffer: A new component of working memory? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 4, 417-423].

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Attention / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Decision Making / physiology
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Judgment / physiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / statistics & numerical data
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Mental Recall / physiology
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Recognition, Psychology / physiology


  • Oxygen