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J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 1988 Oct;10(5):565-75.

Cerebral metabolic effects of a verbal fluency test: a PET scan study.

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Department of Radiology, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach, FL 33140.


Sixteen normal volunteers were studied with [F-18] fluorodeoxyglucose and positron emission tomography scans during behavioral activation with a verbal fluency test, and 35 age-matched controls were studied with resting-state scans. There was an overall increase of the cerebral glucose metabolic rate of 23.3% during verbal fluency activation, compared to the resting state, with the greatest activation in bilateral temporal and frontal lobes. A negative correlation between test performance scores and indices of metabolism was found in frontal, temporal, and parietal regions. Damage to the left frontal lobe maximally affects scores on verbal fluency tests, but performing the test activates a network of regions, of which the left frontal lobe is only one. Proficient performance in verbal fluency seems to require less metabolic activation than poor performance, perhaps because of the efficiency of cognitive strategies employed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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