Brain structural and cognitive correlates of clock drawing performance in Alzheimer's disease

Deborah Cahn-Weiner, Edith V. Sullivan, Paula K. Shear, Rosemary Fama, Kelvin O. Lim, Jerome A. Yesavage, Jared R. Tinklenberg, Adolf Pfefferbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


The Clock Drawing Test (CDT) is widely used in the assessment of dementia and is known to be sensitive to the detection of deficits in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). CDT performance is dependent not only on visuospatial and constructional abilities, but also on conceptual and executive functioning; therefore, it is likely to be mediated by multiple brain regions. The purpose of the present study was to identify component cognitive processes and regional cortical volumes that contribute to CDT performance in AD. In 29 patients with probable AD, CDT performance was significantly related to right-, but not left-hemisphere, regional gray matter volume. Specifically, CDT score correlated significantly with the right anterior and posterior superior temporal lobe volumes. CDT scores showed significant relationships with tests of semantic knowledge, executive function, and visuoconstruction, and receptive language. These results suggest that in AD patients, CDT performance is attributable to impairment in multiple cognitive domains but is related specifically to regional volume loss of right temporal cortex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-509
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Clock drawing
  • Neuroimaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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