16 Citations (Scopus)


Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) elicited by recalled and non-recalled words were recorded from 18 female subjects to investigate primacy and recency effects in free memory recall. The typical pattern of a serial position curve (SPC) was obtained with words presented at first and final positions in a list recalled better than words presented in the middle of a list. A marked positivity is seen in the ERPs for words on Primacy, but not on Recency positions at frontocentral electrodes. In contrast, ERP amplitudes on parietal electrodes resemble the SPC seen in behavioral data: P300 amplitude is largest for words on Primacy and Recency positions and attenuated on Plateau positions. Furthermore, subjects with a clear Primacy effect in behavioral data show a distinct frontal positive slow wave for Primacy words only, whereas subjects without a clear primacy effect show a frontal "difference due to subsequent memory" (DM) effect for Primacy and Plateau words. These results are discussed in the framework of working memory and distinctiveness.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiological Psychology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)185-193
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 01.05.2007

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


Dive into the research topics of 'Serial position effects in free memory recall-An ERP-study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this