Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Communication Sciences and Disorders


Dr. J.B. Orange

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael Strong

Third Advisor

Dr. Philip Doyle


Category specific deficits in naming and comprehension for living and nonliving items exist in individuals with brain impairment. No research to date has examined the performances of individuals with ALS on generative naming tasks for these two different categories. The purpose of this study was to examine the nature of verbal category fluency performances for living and non-living items of individuals with ALS and control participants over time. A small sub-group of participants with ALS was significantly different than controls on the number of items generated for all categories with no difference between living and nonliving categories. However, the sub-group did produce more errors in the living categories suggesting that the living categories could be more vulnerable to language impairment in ALS. Additionally, more participants with ALS produced semantically related errors than controls, suggesting language could be affected in these participants. Further research is warranted to provide more insight on the nature of categorical naming impairments in ALS.



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