Which verbal fluency measure is most useful in demonstrating executive deficits after traumatic brain injury?

Gitit Kavé, Eyal Heled, Eli Vakil, Eugenia Agranov
Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 2011, 33 (3): 358-65
This paper examines switching and clustering in phonemic and semantic fluency tasks in individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Fluency tasks were administered to 30 Hebrew-speaking patients with TBI and 30 age-matched control participants. Significant group differences were found in total output, number of switches, and number of clusters on both tasks, but not in mean cluster size. Unlike prediction, z scores of the number of semantic switches and clusters were lower than the equivalent z scores on the phonemic test. Results highlight the executive component of semantic fluency and the importance of using this task when assessing cognitive functioning after TBI.

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