UNIT 10.5 A Rubric for Extracting Idea Density from Oral Language Samples

  1. Vineeta Chand1,
  2. Kathleen Baynes2,
  3. Lisa M. Bonnici3,
  4. Sarah Tomaszewski Farias1

Published Online: 1 JAN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/0471142301.ns1005s58

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

How to Cite

Chand, V., Baynes, K., Bonnici, L. M. and Farias, S. T. 2012. A Rubric for Extracting Idea Density from Oral Language Samples. Current Protocols in Neuroscience. 58:10.5:10.5.1–10.5.15.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Language and Linguistics, University of Essex, Colchester, United Kingdom

  2. 2

    Center for Mind and Brain, University of California at Davis, Davis, California

  3. 3

    Department of Linguistics, University of California at Davis, Davis, California

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JAN 2012
  2. Published Print: JAN 2012


While past research has demonstrated that low idea density (ID) scores from natural language samples correlate with late life risk for cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease pathology, there are no published rubrics for collecting and analyzing language samples for idea density to verify or extend these findings into new settings. This unit outlines the history of ID research and findings, discusses issues with past rubrics, and then presents an operationalized method for the systematic measurement of ID in language samples, with an extensive manual available as a supplement to this unit (Analysis of Idea Density, AID). Finally, reliability statistics for this rubric in the context of dementia research on aging populations and verification that AID can replicate the significant association between ID and late-life cognition are presented. Curr. Protoc. Neurosci. 58:10.5.1-10.5.15. © 2012 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • idea density;
  • Alzheimer's disease semantics;
  • language;
  • cognitive reserve