Verbal fluency

Verbal fluency

LASA filenames:

Contact: Almar Kok


Executive functioning is an important aspect of cognitive functioning. Executive functioning consists of more complex cognitive tasks involved in the self-regulation of goal-directed behavior. It is closely related to the frontal cortex of the brain and is age-sensitive (Drag & Bieliauskas, 2009). Executive functioning comprises different aspects of functioning such as inhibition of irrelevant stimuli, working memory, set-shifting of attention, taking initiative and planning actions. Verbal fluency is a measure of executive functioning as this task relies on higher order thought processes.

Measurement instruments in LASA

In LASA the Word Fluency Test is included from wave H on. It consists of two conditions of one minute. In the first condition phonemic fluency was assessed; respondents had to name as many words as possible beginning with the letter D. In the second condition semantic fluency was assessed; respondents had to name as many animals as possible.

In the migrant cohort two tasks of semantic fluency were assessed; first, the respondents had to name as many supermarket articles as possible and second, as many animals as possible. The number of correct words was measured, but also the number of other words mentioned and the number of double mentioned words.


LASAH165 / LAS3B165 / LASAI165 / LASAJ165 / LASAK165  (medical interview, in Dutch) / LASMB165 (main interview, in Dutch),

Variable information

LASAH165 / LAS3B165 / LASMB165 / LASAI165 / LASAJ165 / LASAK165 (K not available yet)

Availability of information per wave


Verbal fluency


¹ More information about the LASA data collection waves is available here.

* 2B=baseline second cohort;
3B=baseline third cohort;
MB=migrants: baseline first cohort;
K=not available yet

Me=data collected in medical interview;
Ma=data collected in main interview

Previous use in LASA

Up till now not used in LASA articles.


  1. Drag LL, Bieliauskas LA. Contemporary review 2009: cognitive aging. J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol 2010;23:75-93.

Date of last update: August, 2016