Publication

Temporal Analysis of the Semantic Verbal Fluency Task in Persons with Subjective and Mild Cognitive Impairment

Nicklas Linz, Kristina Lundholm Fors, Hali Lindsay, Marie Eckerström, Jan Alexandersson, Dimitrios Kokkinakis

In: Proceedings of the Sixth Workshop on Computational Linguistics and Clinical Psychology: Reconciling Outcomes. Computational Linguistics and Clinical Psychology Workshop (CLPsych-2019) 6th located at 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (NAACL) June 6 Minneapolis MN United States 2019.

Abstract

The Semantic Verbal Fluency (SVF) task is a classical neuropsychological assessment where persons are asked to produce words belonging to a semantic category (e.g., animals) in a given time. This paper introduces a novel method of temporal analysis for SVF tasks utilizing time intervals and applies it to a corpus of elderly Swedish subjects (mild cognitive impairment, subjective cognitive impairment and healthy controls). A general decline in word count and lexical frequency over the course of the task is revealed, as well as an increase in word transition times. Persons with subjective cognitive impairment had a higher word count during the last intervals but produced words of the same lexical frequencies. Persons with MCI had a steeper decline in both word count and lexical frequencies during the third interval. Additional correlations with neuropsychological scores suggest these findings are linked to a person's overall vocabulary size and processing speed, respectively. Classification results improved when adding the novel features AUC = 0.72, supporting their diagnostic value.

German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz