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Dementia & Neuropsychologia

Print version ISSN 1980-5764


VENEGAS, Mayra Jacuviske  and  MANSUR, Leticia Lessa. Verbal fluency: Effect of time on item generation. Dement. neuropsychol. [online]. 2011, vol.5, n.2, pp.104-107. ISSN 1980-5764.

The distribution of item generation/time in the performance of elderly on verbal fluency (VF) remains unknown.


To analyze the number of items, their distribution and impact of the first quartile on the final test result.


31 individuals performed the tests (average age=74 years; schooling=8.16 years).


The number of items produced in the first quartile differed from the other quartiles for both semantic and phonologic VF where 40% of items were produced in the first quartile. No effect of age was found and schooling influenced performance on the first and second quartiles of semantic VF and on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quartiles of phonemic VF.


This study contributes with the finding that asymptotic levels are attained prior to the 30 seconds observed in other studies, being reached at the 15-second mark. Furthermore, schooling was found to be associated to the number of items produced in both the first and 2nd quartiles for semantic VF, and in 1st, 2nd and 3rd quartiles for phonemic fluency.


The schooling effect was noted both in semantic and executive aspects of VF. The brief form of the VF test may represent a promising tool for clinical evaluation.

Keywords : verbal fluency; evaluation; cognition; language..

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