Evidence for the independence of recognition and recency memory in amnesic subjects

Cortex. 1995 Mar;31(1):57-71. doi: 10.1016/s0010-9452(13)80105-0.


The present study examined two groups of amnesic subjects (Korsakoff and Post-Encephalitic) on tests of object recency. In the first test the subject tried to select the object that had been shown most recently from a pair of familiar objects. Compared with their respective controls both amnesic group were severely, and similarly, impaired. This impairment did not, however, appear to reflect a failure to engage specific rehearsal strategies. In the second test a dissociation was found between judgements of recency and recognition for the same item. This was consistent with the lack of correlation between recency performance and performance on a number of other memory tests. The present findings suggest that the underlying cause of the recency memory deficit in amnesia is different to that responsible for other memory losses. They also point to a dissociation between the processes involved in estimating recency and temporal duration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Amnestic Disorder / diagnosis
  • Alcohol Amnestic Disorder / psychology
  • Amnesia / diagnosis*
  • Amnesia / etiology
  • Amnesia / psychology
  • Encephalitis / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Judgment
  • Male
  • Memory*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychological Tests*
  • Time Perception