Multimodal integration and vividness in the angular gyrus during episodic encoding and retrieval

Roni Tibon, Delia Fuhrmann, Daniel A. Levy, Jon S. Simons, Richard N. Henson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Much evidence suggests that the angular gyrus (AnG) is involved in episodic memory, but its precise role has yet to be determined. We examined two possible accounts within the same experimental paradigm: The “cortical binding of relational activity” (CoBRA) account (Shimamura, 2011), which suggests that the AnG acts as a convergence zone that binds multimodal episodic features, and the subjectivity account (Yazar et al., 2012), which implicates AnG involvement in subjective mnemonic experience (such as vividness or confidence). fMRI was used during both encoding and retrieval of paired associates. During study, female and male human participants memorized picture-pairs of common objects (in the unimodal task) or of an object-picture and an environmental sound (in the crossmodal task). At test, they performed a cued-recall task and further indicated the vividness of their memory. During retrieval, BOLD activation in the AnG was greatest for vividly remembered associates, consistent with the subjectivity account. During encoding, the same effect of vividness was found, but this was further modulated by task: Greater activations were associated with subsequent recall in the crossmodal than the unimodal task. Therefore, encoding data suggest an additional role to the AnG in crossmodal integration, consistent with its role at retrieval proposed by CoBRA. These results resolve some of the puzzles in the literature and indicate that the AnG can play different roles during encoding and retrieval as determined by the cognitive demands posed by different mnemonic tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4365-4374
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number22
StatePublished - 29 May 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
R.T. is supported by a Newton International Fellowship by the Royal Society and the British Academy (Grant SUAI/009 RG91715) and by a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship (Grant SUAI/028 RG94188). J.S.S. is supported by the James S. McDonnell Foundation (Grant 220020333). R.H. is supported by UK Medical Research Council (Grant SUAG/010 RG91365). We thank Josefina Weinerova for assistance in collecting the data and Yuval Suchowski for help with figure preparation. The authors declare no competing financial interests. Correspondence should be addressed to Roni Tibon at Copyright © 2019 the authors

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Society for Neuroscience. All rights reserved.


  • Angular gyrus
  • Cued recall
  • Episodic memory
  • Multimodal integration
  • Vividness


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