Performance of schizophrenic patients on putative neuropsychological tests of frontal lobe function

Terry E. Goldberg, John R. Kelsoe, Daniel R. Weinberger, Neil H. Pliskin, Paul D. Kirwin, Karen Faith Berman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Though individual tests thought to assess frontal lobe function have been administered to patients with schizophrenia for many years, approaches in which a number of tests thought to tap a single function or brain region have rarely been used. Such an approach might define a critical test or a common dysfunctional cognitive process. In the present study four putative neuropsychological tests of frontal lobe integrity, namely, the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, the Category Test, Trail Making B, and verbal fluency, were administered to 28 patients with schizophrenia. Seventy-five percent performed abnormally on at least one test. However, relationships among the test results were difficult to characterize, either by correlation or factor analysis. A hierarchical arrangement in which "higher order" tests proscribe performance on "lower order" tests did not appear to be present. Regarding sensitivity. Trails B, the only timed test, was most frequently impaired and verbal fluency was least frequently impaired. The results suggest that the tests assess somewhat different aspects of frontal lobe function, and that no single frontal lobe test is uniquely sensitive to cognitive impairment in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-58
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Frontal lobes
  • Neuropsychological tests
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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