Dissociation of two frontal lobe syndromes by a test of verbal fluency

J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 1992 Mar;14(2):327-39. doi: 10.1080/01688639208402832.


Numerous researchers have attempted to localise the behavioural manifestations of frontal pathology to the regions of the frontal lobe. Three prinicpal syndromes have been identified; the disinhibited syndrome associated with damage to the orbital area, the apathetic syndrome associated with damage to the frontal convexity, and the akinetic syndrome associated with damage to medial structures. This study attempted to determine if two of these syndromes could be dissociated from each other on the basis of a test of verbal fluency. This study used some commonly occurring clinical entities as the treatment groups. The orbitally lesioned individuals produced higher levels of disinhibited responding on the test than did non-orbitally lesioned subjects. However, all pathological groups produced lower overall levels of responding than did normals on the fluency component of the test. A number of suggestions are made as to why this may have been the case, and some guidelines for the clinical interpretation of response patterns on the fluency test are suggested.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / psychology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Dementia, Multi-Infarct / diagnosis
  • Dementia, Multi-Infarct / physiopathology
  • Dementia, Multi-Infarct / psychology
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Head Injuries, Closed / diagnosis
  • Head Injuries, Closed / physiopathology
  • Head Injuries, Closed / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Phonetics
  • Psychometrics
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Semantics
  • Syndrome
  • Verbal Behavior / physiology*