Verbal free recall in high altitude: Proper names vs common names

Giovanna Pelamatti, Milena Pascotto, Carlo Semenza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Exposure to extreme altitude is known to cause a general impairment of cognitive functions. In this study we investigated the effect of high altitude on the recall of supraspan lists of proper and common names. High altitude seems to have a dramatic effect on the recall of proper names, while common names are more resistant to hypoxia. This effect, however, seems to selectively concern the early items of the lists. This damage to the primacy effect in proper name recall seems permanent over time. The absence of damage in recalling names from the last serial position clearly shows how STM functions are relatively more resistant to the lack of cognitive sources caused by hypoxia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-103
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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