Recency effect in anterograde amnesia: evidence for distinct memory stores underlying enhanced retrieval of terminal items in immediate and delayed recall paradigms

Neuropsychologia. 1996 Mar;34(3):177-84. doi: 10.1016/0028-3932(95)00100-x.


This study was devised to investigate immediate and delayed recency effects in anterograde amnesic patients. For this purpose, a word-list immediate recall paradigm and a modified version of the procedure devised by Baddeley and Hitch [Attention and Performance, Erlbaum, NJ, 1977] for eliciting the recency effect in delayed recall conditions was administered to a sample of amnesic patients and to a group of age-matched healthy subjects. Amnesics disclosed a fully normal recency effect in the immediate recall paradigm and a deficient recency effect in the delayed recall condition. These data, taken together with experimental evidence from a patient affected by a pure form of phonological short-term memory impairment [35], draw a double neuropsychological dissociation suggesting a differential origin for the two kinds of recency effects: a short-term memory output underlying enhanced recall of terminal items in immediate recall paradigms, and an ordinal retrieval strategy applied to long-term memory stored units at the root of the delayed recency effect.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amnesia / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology
  • Mental Recall / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Time Factors