Qualitative neuropsychological measures: Normative data on executive functioning tests from the Framingham offspring study

Lisa D. Hankee, Sarah R. Preis, Alexa S. Beiser, Sherral A. Devine, Yulin Liu, Sudha Seshadri, Philip A. Wolf, Rhoda Au

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background/Study Context: Studies have found that executive functioning is affected early in the pathophysiological processes associated with Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. There also exists a range of functioning on executive tasks during normal aging. Although qualitative data are commonly utilized in clinical practice for evaluating subtle changes in cognitive functioning and diagnostic discernment, it is not clear whether error responses used in clinical practice are also evident as normative behavior. Methods: As part of an extensive battery of neuropsychological tests, executive functioning measures (i.e., Trail Making Test Part B, Similarities and Verbal Fluency tests) were administered via standardized administration prescript. Regression analyses were used to determine associations between vascular aging indices and qualitative performance measures. Descriptive statistics are included for 1907 cognitively normal individuals. Results: Results suggest that although qualitative errors do occur, they are relatively infrequent within a presumably cognitively normal sample. Error commission rates on executive functioning tests are significantly associated with both age and education. Conclusion: Provided is a baseline profile of errors committed on tests of executive function across a range of age and educational levels. The normative data sets are included, stratified by age and educational achievement, for which to compare qualitative test performance of clinical and research populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-535
Number of pages21
JournalExperimental Aging Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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