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J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2002 Jun;24(4):534-47.

Putative tests of frontal lobe function: a PET-study of brain activation during Stroop's Test and verbal fluency.

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Institute for Basic Psychiatric Research, Department of Biological Psychiatry, Psychiatric Hospital, Aarhus University Hospitals, Denmark.


Stroop's test and the Verbal Fluency test are commonly argued to be measures of the integrity of the prefrontal cortex. This assumption has only to some degree been confirmed by lesion studies. In the present study, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) with H(2)(15)O was used to further validate Stroop's test and the Verbal Fluency as measures of frontal lobe function; both tests were implemented as activation paradigms during scanning of normal middleaged individuals. Stroop interference was found to activate the left anterior cingulate cortex, the supplementary motor cortex, thalamus, and the cerebellum. Although the prominent anterior cingulate activation is in the frontal lobe, it is not prefrontal. Verbal Fluency activated the left inferior frontal cortex and the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the supplementary motor cortex, the anterior cingulate cortex and the cerebellum. These results bring this latter test closer to being a specific test of prefrontal function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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