A new test of action verb naming: Normative data from 290 Italian adults


Neurological Sciences


November, 2019


Costanza Papagno, Alessandra Casarotti, Barbara Zarino, and Davide Crepaldi

Verbs and nouns can be selectively impaired, suggesting that they are processed, at least in part, by distinct neural structures. While several tests of object naming are available, tasks involving action verb naming with normative data are lacking. We report the construction and standardization of a new test for the assessment of picture naming of actions. The test includes 50 stimuli, rigidly controlled for several confounding variables. Normative data on 290 Italian subjects pooled across homogenous subgroups for age, sex and education are reported. Multiple regression analyses revealed that age and education significantly correlated with the subject’s score. In particular, increasing age negatively affected performance, while the performance increased with a higher education. In the clinical practice, the availability of equivalent scores will help the comparison with performance in the picture naming of objects. This test allows investigating action naming deficits in aphasic patients, in Parkinson’s disease patients and in further neurodegenerative disorders, in which a specific impairment of action verbs is expected, filling a gap in the clinical neuropsychological assessment.

A pre-print of the paper is freely available on PsyArXiv, while you can see the final version at the journal here (not that this latter link is view-only, and you cannot download the paper unless your institution is paying a fee for the journal).