We examine whether temporally defined associations play a role in item recognition. The role of these associations in recall tasks is well known; we demonstrate an important role in item recognition as well. In this study, subjects were significantly more likely to recognize a test item as having been previously experienced if the preceding test item was studied in a temporally proximal list position than if the preceding test item came from a more distant list position. Further analyses showed that this associative effect was almost entirely due to cases in which the preceding test item received a highest-confidence recognition judgment.
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