Paraphasias in cognistat: Pathognomic sign or ethnic-linguistic artifact?

Mark Floyd, Clyde P. Donahoe, Stephen L. Holliday, Joshua E. Caron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Paraphasias on the Cognistat (Northern California Neurobehavioral Group, 1995) memory subtest were examined in a sample of geriatric veterans (average age = 77). “Robert” and “parrot” were the most frequently occurring paraphasias for the target words robin, carrot, piano, and green. Paraphasias were also common (35%) for patients with no deficits on Cognistat. Paraphasia production could not be explained by differences in hearing ability, education level, or neuropsychological deficits. Paraphasia frequency and type varied by ethnic group: European-Americans were less likely to have a paraphasia, Hispanic- Americans were more likely to have a “Robert” or “parrot” paraphasia, and African-Americans were more likely to have a paraphasia other than “Robert” or “parrot.” Additional research is needed to determine the cause of paraphasias on the Cognistat and the clinical significance of paraphasias for each ethnic group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-77
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Gerontologist
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004


  • Cognistat
  • Geriatric
  • Neuropsychological screening tests
  • Paraphasias
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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