Canonical analysis was used to related a battery of neuropsychological tests to a set of functional tasks in a sample of 126 healthy older adults and individuals with a clinical diagnosis of dementia of the Alzheimer type. The functional tasks included activities that ranged from relatively simple motoric functions to much more cognitively demanding abilities. In general, functional behavior was substantially correlated with neuropsychological test performance. With the exception of well-routinized motor activities that probably represent procedural memory, both functional tasks and neuropsychological tests appear to assess the same global cognitive deterioration that characterizes Alzheimer's disease.