Primacy and recency effects in immediate free recall of sequences of spatial positions

Rita Bonanni, Patrizio Pasqualetti, Carlo Caltagirone, Giovanni Augusto Carlesimo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study evaluated the serial position curve based on free recall of spatial position sequences. To evaluate the memory processes underlying spatial recall, some manipulations were introduced by varying the length of spatial sequences (Exp. 1) and modifying the presentation rate of individual positions (Exp. 2). A primacy effect emerged for all sequence lengths, while a recency effect was evident only in the longer sequences. Moreover, slowing the presentation rate increased the magnitude of the primacy effect and abolished the recency effect. The main novelty of the present results is represented by the finding that better recall of early items in a sequence of spatial positions does not depend on the task requirement of an ordered recall but it can also be observed in a free recall paradigm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-500
Number of pages18
JournalPerceptual and Motor Skills
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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