The Pyramids and Palm Trees 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, or written or spoken words to change the modality of stimulus or response items. The pattern of results from this simple forced-choice format test can be used to build up a picture of the subject’s ability to access semantic and conceptual information and so 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 Pyramids and Palm Trees Testis ideal for theoretically motivated testing of picture and word comprehension in subjects with:
- Global aphasia
- Visual agnosia
- General semantic impairment, i.e., Alzheimer’s disease
The test is short and easily administered, and may help in the design of appropriate rehabilitation programs.