Reduced primacy and related features in schizophrenia

Schizophr Res. Jul-Aug 1991;5(1):35-41. doi: 10.1016/0920-9964(91)90051-r.


Subtle memory disturbances are widely reported in schizophrenia. We investigated one such disturbance, reduced primacy in serial position recall among 20 schizophrenic patients, 20 depressed patients, and 20 normal controls. The main finding is that schizophrenic subjects show reduced primacy and middle position performance, but are able to match the recency recall of controls. We further demonstrate that primacy performance is associated with another memory anomaly frequently noted in schizophrenia, decreased context associated gain in recall. Among schizophrenic subjects, primacy performance is also related to increased repetition in speech, a feature associated with formal thought disorder in schizophrenia. These observations suggest that memory deviances and disordered speech may have a common pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Antipsychotic Agents / pharmacology
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory* / drug effects
  • Mental Recall
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy
  • Schizophrenic Language
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Speech*
  • Tape Recording


  • Antipsychotic Agents