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Dev Neuropsychol. 2006;29(3):493-508.

The development of naming and word fluency: evidence from Hebrew-speaking children between ages 8 and 17.

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  • 1Department of Communication Disorders, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University Sheba Medical Center, Israel.


Naming and word fluency tests are commonly used in neuropsychological evaluations of both children and adults. The current work examines at which age performance on these tests reaches adult level. One hundred fifty children, 30 in each of 5 age groups (8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15, 16-17), and 30 adults ages 18 to 29, participated in the study. Participants completed a Hebrew naming test, a three-letter phonemic fluency task, and a three-category semantic fluency task (animals, fruits and vegetables, and vehicles). Results show that all measures increase steadily from age 8 to age 17. No difference between the 16- to 17-year-old adolescents and the adults was found on the naming test and on the phonemic fluency task, but such a difference was documented for semantic fluency. The relative contribution of the maturation of vocabulary and the development of efficient retrieval processes to performance on naming and fluency tasks is discussed.

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