Retrieval Mode

Retrieval involves at least two kinds of subprocesses. On the one hand, there are the general operations involved in attempting to remember an event, and these are observable regardless of whether the search is successful. The effort to retrieve has been referred to as retrieval mode. On the other hand, there are the operations specifically associated with successful recovery of the event.

Several studies with PET and fMRI have shown that a region in the anterior prefrontal cortex of the right hemisphere is activated when an effort is made to retrieve an event. This is not the only area activated, but it is the best understood to date. For example, as seen in Plate 9, strong PET activation can be observed in the right hemisphere in temporal regions in addition to the right insula and parahippocampal tissues when recollecting a highly emotional episode from more than a year in the past (Fink et al., 1996). As discussed earlier, structural differences in these regions appear to distinguish those with HSAM from those with typical autobiographical memory. In contrast to the right prefrontal and other regions activated in episodic retrieval, prefrontal regions in the left hemisphere are highly activated during the encoding of events into episodic memory.

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Retrieval Mode
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