Bender-Gestalt Recall: A Review of the Normative Data and Related Issues
Bender recall and other measures of figural memory are primarily mediated by the right temporal lobe and the right hippocampus (Russell, 1975, 1980). The procedure of having patients immediately reproduce the Bender designs from memory after they have copied them may be conceptualized as a test of free recall (the designs can be recalled in any order) that reflects the processes involved in both short term and long term memory (Glanzer & Clark, 1979). Short term memory has been described as a temporary holding and organizing process that plays a crucial control function when information is registered into and retrieved from long term memory (Craik, 1977; Russell, 1980). Short-term memory has a limited capacity, a length of 20-30 seconds without rehearsal, and has been described as constituting conscious awareness (Craik, 1977; Russell, 1980). Long term memory is more permanent in character than short term memory and is involved whenever the limited span of short term memory has been exceeded. Goodstein, Spielberger, Williams and Dahlstrom (1955) demonstrated that the recall of a particular Bender design is a function of both its difficulty level and its position in the order of presentation. It has consistently been found that design 8 (the last design administered) is most frequently recalled in standard administrations of the test (Armstrong, 1963). The superior recall by patients of design 8 is consistent with the serial position effect in which the last stimulus presented is recalled from short term memory (Glanzer & Clark, 1979). Thus Bender recall may be regarded as reflecting short term memory (the recall of
This paper has two objectives. The ftrst, since the norms for Bender recall are presently scattered in over 26 journal articles, is to consolidate and organize the normative data on Bender recall so that researchers and clinicians can readily compare their data and local norms with related published data. The second objective is to provide a brief summary of the research on the recall of BenderGestalt designs in hopes of stimulating more systematic research to correct major deftciencies in the existing literature.