This study focused on the cognitive representation of causal coherence relations linguistically marked with the connective because. This article investigated whether these local causal relations are represented both at the level of the textbase and the situation model. Following earlier studies investigating the psychological validity of levels of discourse representation, this study used a sentence recognition paradigm in which the connective used to indicate the relation between sentences was manipulated. The recognition results obtained in two experiments show that participants only detect changes made at the level of the situation model (because vs. and), but they do not detect differences at the level in surface code (two variants of the Dutch because) and textbase (because vs. after). As no evidence of a separate textbase representation was found, the results suggest that local causal relations are represented at the level of the situation model only. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.