Associative processes in immediate recency

Marc W. Howard, Vijay Venkatadass, Kenneth A. Norman, Michael J. Kahana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Some theorists have argued that the immediate recency effect observed in free recall reflects the emptying out of the contents of a short-term memory buffer (Davelaar, Goshen-Gottstein, Ashkenazi, Haarmann, & Usher, 2005). Others have argued that immediate recency reflects the properties of temporal context used to cue free recall (Howard & Kahana, 2002). We examined immediate free recall of lists with an item from the middle of the list repeated at or near the end. If associative processes contribute to immediate recency, as predicted by the temporal context account, the neighbors of the initial presentation of the repeated item should show enhanced recall at the initial stages of immediate recall. Recall transitions early in output - and even the initiation of recall itself - showed evidence for temporally defined associations that resemble those observed in recall from long-term memory. These results have strong implications for models of the immediate recency effect in free recall.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1700-1711
Number of pages12
JournalMemory and Cognition
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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