Perseverative behavior has not been extensively studied in patients with dementia. In this study, perseverative behavior was elicited with the dementia version of the Graphical Sequence Test. A control group and participants with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and subcortical ischemic vascular dementia (IVD) were studied. A factor analysis revealed a 3-factor model consisting of perseverations related to semantic knowledge, motor functioning, and a third, intermediary factor. IVD participants made more total perseverations than did AD participants. Perseverations made by AD participants were correlated with deficits on tests of semantic knowledge, whereas the perseverations made by IVD participants were correlated with motor and frontal systems tests. Results are consistent with the view that perseverative behavior is hierarchically arranged in terms of specific levels of cognitive complexity and the overall pattern of cognitive deficits associated with each type of dementia.