Computerized analysis of a verbal fluency test

James O. Ryan, Serguei V Pakhomov, Susan E Marino, Charles Bernick, Sarah Banks

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We present a system for automated phonetic clustering analysis of cognitive tests of phonemic verbal fluency, on which one must name words starting with a specific letter (e.g., 'F') for one minute. Test responses are typically subjected to manual phonetic clustering analysis that is labor-intensive and subject to inter-rater variability. Our system provides an automated alternative. In a pilot study, we applied this system to tests of 55 novice and experienced professional fighters (boxers and mixed martial artists) and found that experienced fighters produced significantly longer chains of phonetically similar words, while no differences were found in the total number of words produced. These findings are preliminary, but strongly suggest that our system can be used to detect subtle signs of brain damage due to repetitive head trauma in individuals that are otherwise unimpaired.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationShort Papers
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781937284510
StatePublished - 2013
Event51st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2013 - Sofia, Bulgaria
Duration: Aug 4 2013Aug 9 2013

Publication series

NameACL 2013 - 51st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Proceedings of the Conference


Other51st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2013

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Computerized analysis of a verbal fluency test'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this