This study investigated several constructs of executive functioning in a group of 77 patients with subcortical pathology. Specifically, we examined the validity of categorizing perseverative errors as "recurrent," "stuck-in-set," or "continuous," as proposed by Sandson and Albert (1984). A principal components analysis of 2 measures of recurrent perseveration, 2 measures of stuck-in-set perseveration, and 2 measures of intrusive errors yielded a 2 component solution with stuck-in-set perseverations and intrusive errors loading on Component 1, and recurrent perseverations loading on Component 2. Presence of a continuous perseveration on a graphomotor test was significantly associated with higher factor scores on Component 1, but not Component 2. The stuck-in-set perseveration and intrusion component was associated with the majority of the other neuropsychological tests administered, including tests of executive function and memory. The recurrent perseveration component was not associated with the other measures of cognitive functioning. Presence of a continuous perseveration was associated with executive function but not memory measures. This study provides evidence that recurrent perseverations are distinct from the other types of perseverative and intrusive errors, and that stuck-in-set and intrusive errors are good indicators of general cognitive functioning in patients with subcortical pathology.
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