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Dementia & Neuropsychologia

Print version ISSN 1980-5764


CHARCHAT-FICHMAN, Helenice; OLIVEIRA, Rosinda Martins  and  SILVA, Andreza Morais da. Performance of Brazilian children on phonemic and semantic verbal fluency tasks. Dement. neuropsychol. [online]. 2011, vol.5, n.2, pp.78-84. ISSN 1980-5764.

The most used verbal fluency paradigms are semantic and letter fluency tasks. Studies suggest that these paradigms access semantic memory and executive function and are sensitive to frontal lobe disturbances. There are few studies in Brazilian samples on these paradigms.


The present study investigated performance, and the effects of age, on verbal fluency tasks in Brazilian children. The results were compared with those of other studies, and the consistency of the scoring criteria data is presented.


A sample of 119 children (7 to 10 years old) was submitted to the three phonemic fluency (F, A, M) tasks and three semantic fluency (animals, clothes, fruits) tasks. The results of thirty subjects were scored by two independent examiners.


A significant positive correlation was found between the scores calculated by the two independent examiners. Significant positive correlations were found between performance on the semantic fluency task and the phonemic fluency task. The effect of age was significant for both tasks, and a significant difference was found between the 7- and 9-year-old subjects and between the 7- and 10-year-old subjects. The 8-year-old group did not differ to any of the other age groups.


The pattern of results was similar to that observed in previous Brazilian and international studies.

Keywords : child development; memory; neuropsychological tests; executive functions; language tests; cognition..

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