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Neuropsychol Rev. 1994 Sep;4(3):161-98.

A selective and critical review of neuropsychological deficits and the frontal lobes.

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  • 1Reitan Neuropsychology Laboratory, Tucson, Arizona.


Presumptions about the functions of the frontal lobes, and the sensitivity and specificity of certain tests to measure frontal lobe functions, are having a substantial influence on both clinical and research conclusions. In this paper the authors examine the details of the studies that have contributed to these presumptions, and find that the evidence to support these conclusions is weak. A detailed evaluation of the evidence relating to the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and the Thurstone Word Fluency Test is also presented. Finally, the development of the belief that frontal lobe functions can be specifically measured is reviewed. The authors of this paper conclude that the "bewildering array" of deficits attributed to frontal lesions still seems to prevail.

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