The hippocampus is considered pivotal to recall, allowing retrieval of information not available in the immediate environment. In contrast, neocortex is thought to signal familiarity, and to contribute to recall only when called upon by the hippocampus. However, this view is not compatible with representational accounts of memory, which reject the mapping of cognitive processes onto brain regions. According to representational accounts, the hippocampus is not engaged by recall per se, rather it is engaged whenever hippocampal representations are required. To test whether hippocampus is engaged by recall when hippocampal representations are not required, we used functional imaging and a non-associative recall task, with items (objects, scenes) studied in isolation, and item-parts used as cues. As predicted by a representational account, hippocampal activation increased during recall of scenes, which are known to be processed by hippocampus, but not during recall of objects. Object recall instead engaged neocortical regions known to be involved in object-processing. Further supporting the representational account, effective connectivity analyses revealed that recall was associated with increased information flow out of lateral occipital cortex (object recall) and parahippocampal cortex (scene recall), suggesting that recall related activation spread from neocortex to hippocampus, not the reverse.