Episodic retrieval and the cortical binding of relational activity

Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci. 2011 Sep;11(3):277-91. doi: 10.3758/s13415-011-0031-4.


Retrieval of episodic memories depends on the successful "re-collection" of event features, such as the time, place, people, thoughts, and feelings associated with a past experience.In neuroimaging studies, ventral regions of the posterior parietal cortex (vPPC) are particularly active when episodic memories are successfully retrieved. A review of the neural correlates of episodic retrieval is presented along with a new theory, cortical binding of relational activity (CoBRA). According to CoBRA, the vPPC acts as a convergence zone that binds episodic features stored in disparate neocortical regions. This process works in conjunction with other known mechanisms, such as those associated with the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal lobe.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Memory, Episodic*
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Psychological Theory