The encoding-retrieval relationship: Retrieval as mental simulation

C Kent, K Lamberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


There is increasing evidence to suggest that mental simulations underlie many cognitive processes. We review results from three rapidly developing research areas suggesting that simulations underlie information retrieval. First, neuroimaging work indicates that cortical circuits that were activated during encoding are reactivated during retrieval. Second, retrieval is aided by behavioural re-enactment of processes involved in encoding, including re-enactment of encoding eye movements. Third, the time courses of encoding of visual features and the retrieval of information about those features are related. Overall, the evidence suggests that the often observed interactions between encoding and retrieval result from a cognitive system that, at least partially, reactivates processes that were involved in encoding to retrieve information.
Translated title of the contributionThe encoding-retrieval relationship: Retrieval as mental simulation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92 - 98
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Issue number3
Early online date11 Feb 2008
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008


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