Andre Rey designed the “complex figure” in 1941 and three years later Osterrieth (1944) standardized Rey’s procedures, developing a 36-point scoring system. The test has since been widely used to assess perceptual organizational skills, memory, and executive functions (Knight & Kaplan, 2003). There is limited evidence concerning the specific cognitive abilities that contribute to copying the complex figure. The current study seeks to further explain the relationship between verbal intelligence and the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure (ROCF) Copy. Archival neuropsychological data from older adults (age > 65, N =58) was divided into two groups; high average and above verbal IQ (HIQ: n = 37), and average and below verbal IQ (AIQ: n = 21). Multiple regression equations were computed to determine the relationship between IQ groups and scores on the ROCF Copy. All six multiple regression analyses were significant using the Meyers and Meyers scoring system (1996) (R2 = .38, F (2, 55) = 17.15, p < .01) and using the Boston Qualitative Scoring System (BQSS; R2 = .36, F (2, 34) = 10.12, p < .05) as dependent variables. Results indicated that organizational ability was a significant factor in all regression equations, regardless of group. However, visual-spatial ability was only a significant contributing factor for the HIQ group, a finding consistent across both scoring systems. These results support the hypothesis that older adults with high average or above intelligence rely more heavily on visual-spatial ability to complete the ROCF Copy compared to older adults with average IQ. Implications, future directions, and limitations of the current study are discussed.
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