This test determines the degree to which a subject can access meaning from pictures and words.
Information from the test will enable the tester to establish whether a subject’s difficulty in naming or pointing to a named picture is due to a difficulty in retrieving semantic information from pictures, or a difficulty in retrieving semantic information from words, or, in the case of a naming failure, a difficulty in retrieving the appropriate spoken form of the word.
Six different versions of the test are possible by using either pictures, written or spoken words to change the modality of stimulus or response items.
The pattern of results can be used to build up a picture of the subject’s ability to access semantic and conceptual information, and so to indicate whether a subject has a central, modality-independent impairment to semantic knowledge, or whether there are modality-specific difficulties in access to semantics.
The test is therefore ideal for theoretically motivated testing of picture and word comprehension in subjects with aphasia, visual agnosia and general semantic impairment (as in many subjects with Alzheimer’s disease).
Its simple forced-choice format makes it suitable for use even with subjects having, for instance, global aphasia, where it may be the only practicable way of testing semantic knowledge.
The test is short and easily administered, and provides essential information for evaluation of semantic disorders, and may help in the design of appropriate rehabilitation programmes.