The use of word-reading to estimate "premorbid" ability in cognitive domains other than intelligence

David J. Schretlen, Angela L H Buffington, Stephen M. Meyer, Godfrey D. Pearlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Diagnostic neuropsychological assessment requires the clinician to estimate a patient's premorbid abilities. Word reading tests, such as the National Adult Reading Test-Revised (NART-R), provide reasonably accurate estimates of premorbid IQ, but their capacity to benchmark other premorbid cognitive abilities remains unclear. In this extension of an earlier report, we administered the NART-R, an abbreviated Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-R or WAIS-III), and 26 other cognitive measures to 322 reasonably healthy adults. While NART-R performance correlated robustly (rs ≥ .72) with concurrent Verbal and Full Scale IQ, its correlation with all other cognitive measures was significantly lower. Thus, while it is appealing to use word reading as a proxy for premorbid functioning in other cognitive domains, the NART-R has limited utility for this because it does not predict current performance on other cognitive tests as well as it predicts IQ in healthy adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)784-787
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Intelligence
  • NART-R
  • National Adult Reading
  • Neuropsychology
  • Premorbid IQ
  • Psychological tests
  • Test-Revised


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