The effects of lateralized temporal lobe dysfunction on normal and semantic word fluency

Roy C. Martin, David W. Loring, Kimford J. Meador, Gregory P. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Word fluency performance was studied in 32 patients with unilateral temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and 25 healthy dextral controls. Two word fluency tasks were administered conforming to either formal-based criteria or semantic-based criteria. Performance for TLE patients was assessed both pre-operatively and approximately 1 week following anterior temporal lobectomy. Both formal and semantic word fluency decreased regardless of resection laterality. Left TLE patients performed significantly worse at both pre- and post-operative assessments compared to the right TLE patients, while right TLE patients performed significantly poorer than controls on all verbal fluency criteria at pre- and post-operative assessments. In addition, both TLE and control groups produced significantly fewer formal and semantic words during the second 30-sec portion of each task. These findings are discussed in terms of temporal lobe contributions to word fluency production and lexical semantic processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-829
Number of pages7
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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