Luria's Test

Luria's test (“fist-edge-palm” test or Luria's Sequence) requires patients to imitate three hand motions performed by the clinician. Luria's test is part of the Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB) battery of tests. Luria's test assesses for frontal lobe (executive) dysfunction or damage, as patients will often have difficulty with fine motor skills and sequencing motor skills.

With fingers fully extended and the patient following, the examiner makes the 3 following motions in sequence, and asks the patient to follow along:

  1. Makes a fist with the right hand
  2. Then makes a chopping/cutting motion with the right hand, with the edge of the hand hitting their knee or on a table (i.e. - “Karate Chop!”)
  3. Then puts palm down with fingers extended

The examiner and patient then repeat this motion together 3 more times. The hand motions can be reinforced by counting from 1 to 3 along with each segment, or by saying “cut, fist, and slap.” Patients are then asked to repeat these sequence of movements unguided by the examiner several times.[1]

Luria's Test ("Fist-Edge-Palm") Fig. 1

Older adults may require repeated modelling by the clinician to acquire the appropriate sequence. However, if more than 2 trials are needed, a sequencing deficit should be suspected. The patient should be able to complete 3 complete motor sequences in the correct order without error.

For Clinicians