Arthur P. Shimamura
Arthur P. Shimamura (born June 26, 1954 in Los Angeles, CA) is Professor of Psychology and faculty member of the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on the neural basis of human memory and cognition. He received his B.A. in Experimental Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1977 and Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Washington in 1982. He was a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Larry Squire, where he studied amnesic patients. In 1989, Shimamura began his professorship at UC Berkeley. He has published over 100 scientific articles and chapters, was a founding member of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, and has been Science Advisor for the San Francisco Exploratorium science museum. In 2008, he received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship to explore links between art, mind, and brain.
Shimamura (2000) proposed dynamic filtering theory to describe the role of the prefrontal cortex in metacognitive or executive control processes. The prefrontal cortex acts as a high-level gating or filtering mechanism that enhances goal-directed activations and inhibits irrelevant activations. This filtering mechanism enables executive control at various levels of processing, including selecting, maintaining, updating, and rerouting activations. It has also been used to explain emotional regulation.
In 2009, Shimamura and Wickens (2009) proposed hierarchical relational binding theory, which offers a new interpretation of the role of the medial temporal lobe (MTL) in learning and memory (see also Shimamura, 2008). It is proposed that regions within the MTL conform to a hierarchical network with the hippocampus at the top of the hierarchy. Bindings that occur at the level of the hippocampus particularly strengthen memories so that strong memories get even stronger, a principle called “superadditive.” Hierarchical relational binding theory explains both neuroimaging and behavior findings previously attributed to the distinction between “recollection” and “familiarity.”
Cortical binding of relational activity (or CoBRA) is a theory of episodic retrieval that defines the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) as a convergence zone that integrates or binds features of an episodic memory, thus facilitating memory retrieval (see Shimamura, 2011). Shimamura argues that this binding process is the final stage of memory consolidation such that through PPC binding, episodic memories become fully represented in the neocortex.
Honors and awards 
John Simon Guggenheim Fellowhip (2008)
Fellow & Charter Member, Association for Psychological Science
Distinguished Teaching Award, Division of Social Sciences, UC Berkeley
Osher Fellow & Science Advisor, San Francisco Exploratorium Science Museum
Ranked 9th of most-cited psychologists ("Highest Impact Authors, 1986-1990," APS Observer, November, 1992)
1. Shimamura, A. P. (2000). The role of the prefrontal cortex in dynamic filtering. Psychobiology, 28, 207-218.
2. Shimamura, A. P. (2008). A neurocognitive approach to metacognitive monitoring and control. In J. Dunlosky & R. A. Bjork (Eds), Handbook of Metamemory and Memory (pp. 373–390). Psychology Press: New York.
3. Shimamura, A. P. & Wickens, T. D. (2009). Superadditive memory strength for item and source recognition: The role of hierarchical relational binding in the medial temporal lobe. Psychological Review, 116, 1-19.
4. Shimamura, A. P. (2011). Episodic retrieval and the cortical binding of relational activity. "Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience," 11, 277-291.