While it is well known that picture naming (PN) is impaired in Alzheimer's disease (AD), sound naming (SN) has not been thoroughly investigated. A paper published in the March 2009 issue of The Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society examines the diagnostic value of sound naming given the early involvement of the temporal cortex by AD-related pathology. For the purpose of the research, SN was measured by asking subjects to name a given environmental stimulus presented through headphones. The sounds used represented a wide range of acoustic events including animal sounds (e.g., tiger or dog), musical instruments, modes of transportation, mechanical sounds, etc. PN was measured through presentation of line drawings. Using a sample of in 21 normal participants, 40 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 27 patients in early stages of AD, SN and PN data was collected. The results showed that SN accuracy and latency (time required to provide a response) were more sensitive to advancing pathology in AD than PN accuracy and latency. SN was more useful and specific in distinguishing MCI patients from normal participants and therefore in potentially identifying the subset of MCI patients who already have impairment in more than one cognitive domain and may actually have developing AD. These findings indicate a potential diagnostic utility of SN for early detection of the disease. Furthermore, even though most AD patients demonstrated more or less comparable impairment in both tasks, some were disproportionately impaired on SN and others were differentially impaired on PN. Future studies may be able to show that these different groups correspond to patients with right and left hemisphere predominant AD, respectively.