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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 20, Issue 3-4, Pages 141-152

Clinical Application of Standardized Cognitive Assessment Using fMRI. II. Verbal Fluency

Mark D. Allen1,2 and Alina K. Fong1

1Psychology Department, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, USA
2Neuroscience Center, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, USA

Received 24 July 2009; Accepted 24 July 2009

Copyright © 2008 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In this study, we describe an fMRI version of the verbal fluency test. This is the second in a series of fMRI adaptations of classical neuropsychological tests, for which normative samples of functional activation have been collected from unimpaired control subjects and structured in a manner that makes individual patient evaluation possible in terms of familiar z-score distributions. This fMRI protocol is shown to have strong convergent validity with the FAS phonemic fluency test and to elicit activation patterns highly consistent with a large body of previous neuroimaging studies of verbal fluency. We also present a case study, in which we report concurrent data from a patient with selective deficits in verbal processing, using both conventional neuropsychological and fMRI approaches. These analyses reveal striking correspondences between the deficits present in this patient on cognitive performance tests and the equally selective patterns of deviation present in his fMRI data.