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Category and Letter Fluency in Highly Educated Older Adults


Performance on letter and category fluency was studied in a group of 478 healthy, highly intelligent and educated, older adults (aged 55 to 94 years). The aim of the study was to determine and contrast the effects of age, sex, and intelligence (estimated by the NAART) on letter (FAS) and category (fruits, animal, vegetables) verbal fluency performance. Significant effects were found for age and NAART error score on all fluency scores. However, these effects were small in magnitude. The NAART was found to be a better predictor of verbal fluency scores than education. The relative sensitivity of letter and category fluency to age was not significantly different. Sex was related to performance for the categories of fruits and vegetables, with women outperforming men. Separate mean values for fluency measures are provided for different ages, NAART error scores, educational level, and sex.

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