Computerized Tests

Cogstate computerized tests provide rapid, sensitive and valid measurement of distinct cognitive functions.

Cogstate Research comprises a customizable range of computerized cognitive tests able to measure baseline and change in a wide range of cognitive domains.

Researchers have the freedom to select cognitive tests that are most appropriate for their testing protocol. Specialized tests can assess psychomotor function, attention, memory, executive function, as well as verbal learning and social-emotional cognition if required.

Groton Maze Learning Test

The Groton Maze Learning Test uses a maze learning paradigm to measure executive function.

Administration Time (in healthy volunteers): 7 Minutes

Cognitive Domain Measured: Executive Function

Groton Maze Learning Test Description

The subject is shown a 10 x 10 grid of tiles on a computer touch screen. A 28-step pathway is hidden among these 100 possible locations. The start is indicated by the blue tile at the top left and the finish location is the tile with the red circles at the bottom right of the grid. The subject is instructed to move one step from the start location and then to continue, one tile at a time, toward the end (bottom right).

The subject moves by touching a tile next to their current location. After each move is made, the computer indicates whether this is correct by revealing a green checkmark (i.e. this is the next step in the pathway), or incorrect by revealing a red cross (i.e. this is not the next step in the pathway, or the subject has broken a rule, see below). If a choice is incorrect (i.e. a red cross is revealed), the subject must touch the last correct location (i.e. the last green checkmark revealed) and then make a different tile choice to advance toward the end.

While moving through the hidden maze, the subject is required to adhere to two rules. Firstly, the subject cannot move diagonally or touch the same tile twice in succession. Secondly, the subject cannot move backwards along the pathway (e.g. move back to a location that displayed a green tick, but from which they have since moved on from).

If the subject chooses a tile that is not part of the hidden pathway, but the tile choice is within the rules, this is recorded as a different type of error (e.g. not a rule break). This could be due to chance (the first time through the maze) or due to misremembering the path on subsequent attempts.

The subject learns the 28-step pathway though the maze on the basis of this trial and error feedback. Once completed, they are returned to the start location and repeat the test, usually 4 more times, trying to remember the pathway they have just completed.

There are 20 well-matched alternate forms for this test, and these are selected in pseudo-random order to ensure that no subject will complete the same hidden path on any two different testing sessions throughout a study.

Primary Outcome measure

Unit of measurement: Errors

Description and interpretation of scores: Total number of errors made in attempting to learn the same hidden pathway on five consecutive trials at a single session. (Lower score = better performance)

Set-Shifting Test

The Set-Shifting Test uses a set shifting paradigm to measure executive function.

Administration Time (in healthy volunteers): 7 Minutes

Cognitive Domain Measured: Set Shifting (Executive Function)

Set-Shifting Test Description

The pre-test on-screen instructions ask: “Is this a target card?” The test supervisor will read full instructions to the subject from the test supervisor script. To begin the test, the test supervisor or subject must press the “Enter” key.

A playing card is presented in the center of the screen. At the start of this test, the subject literally has to guess whether the card is the ‘target’ or ‘correct’ card. The subject is being asked to determine whether the card contains a target stimulus dimension (a color or a number).

As the subject makes their guesses, the software provides feedback and will not display the next stimuli until a correct response has been made. For example, if the subject wants to guess that a card is correct he/she presses “Yes”. If the guess is correct, the card will flip over. If the guess is incorrect, the subject will hear an error sound and the card will not flip over, indicating that the card does not contain the target stimulus dimension. In this case the subject would guess again (e.g. choose “No” to indicate that the card is ‘incorrect’). In this way, the subject is taught that a specific dimension of the card (either a color or a number) is ‘correct’.

When the subject has made their way through a set of cards, the ‘target’ or ‘correct’ stimulus dimension changes, either to the opposing example within the same dimension (eg, from red to black – intra-dimensional shift) or to a different dimension of the stimuli altogether (eg, from color to number – extra-dimensional shift). The subject is not told when these intra-dimensional or extra-dimensional ‘set-shifts’ occur, and they must re-learn the new target ‘rule’ to proceed through the test. There are multiple set-shifts within the test, and the order of these set-shifts is pseudo-randomized to create multiple alternate forms of the test.

The subject should be encouraged to work as quickly as they can and be as accurate as possible.

Primary Outcome measure

Unit of measurement: Total number of errors

Description and interpretation of scores: Accuracy of performance; Total number of errors across five rounds. (Lower score = better performance)

Detection Test

The Detection Test uses a simple reaction time paradigm to measure processing speed.

Administration Time (in healthy volunteers): 3 Minutes

Cognitive Domain Measured: Psychomotor Function

Detection Test Description

The pre-test on-screen instructions ask: “Has the card turned over?” The test supervisor will read full instructions to the subject from the test supervisor script.

To begin the test, the test supervisor or subject must press the “Enter” key.

A playing card is presented in the center of the screen.

The card will flip over so it is face up. As soon as it does, the subject must press the “Yes” key.

The card will go to the back of the pack and the subject must press the “Yes” key as soon as the next card flips over and so on. The subject will practice until he/she reaches the required number of responses, or until the practice period expires.

Then, on screen instructions for the real test are presented. The test supervisor or subject must press the “Enter” key to begin the real test.

The subject should be encouraged to work as quickly as he/she can and be as accurate as they can. For example, he/she should try not to press the “Yes” key before a card flips over. If the subject does this or does not respond to a card that has flipped over in time, he/she will hear an error sound.

Primary Outcome Measure

Unit of measurement: Log10 milliseconds

Description and interpretation of scores: Speed of performance; mean of the log10 transformed reaction times for correct responses. (Lower score = better performance)

Identification Test

The Identification Test uses a choice reaction time paradigm to measure attention.

Administration Time (in healthy volunteers): 3 Minutes

Cognitive Domain Measured: Attention

Identification Test Description

The pre-test on-screen instructions ask: “Is the card red?” The test supervisor will read full instructions to the subject from the test supervisor script.

To begin the test, the test supervisor or subject must press the “Enter” key. A playing card is presented in the center of the screen.

The card will flip over so it is face up. As soon as it does this the subject must decide whether the card is red or not.

If it is red he/she should press “Yes”, if it is not red he/she should press “No”.

The subject will practice until they reach the required number of responses, or until the practice period expires.

Then, on screen instructions for the real test are presented. The test supervisor or subject must press the “Enter” key to begin the real test.

The subject should be encouraged to work as quickly as they can and be as accurate as he/she can. For example, the subject should try not to press either the “Yes” or “No” key before a card flips over. If he/she makes a mistake they will hear an error sound.

Primary Outcome measure

Unit of measurement: Log10 milliseconds

Description and interpretation of scores: Speed of performance; mean of the log10 transformed reaction times for correct responses. (Lower score = better performance)

One Card Learning Test

The One Card Learning Test uses a pattern separation paradigm to measure visual memory.

Administration Time (in healthy volunteers): 6 Minutes

Cognitive Domain Measured: Visual Learning

One Card Learning Test Description

The pre-test on-screen instructions ask: “Have you seen this card before in this test?” The test supervisor will read full instructions to the subject from the test supervisor script.

To begin the test, the test supervisor or subject must press the “Enter” key. A playing card is presented in the center of the screen. As soon as it does the subject must decide whether or not the same card has been seen before in this test. Therefore the first answer is always “No”.

Each time a card is revealed, the subject must decide whether he/she has been shown that card before in this test and respond by pressing the “Yes” or “No” key. If an incorrect response is given (e.g. “No” is pressed when a card has been presented before) an error noise is heard. Once the practice is complete (required number of responses or time out reached) the on-screen instructions and the test supervisor will tell the subject that the real test will now begin. The test supervisor or subject must press the “Enter” key to begin the real test.

The subject should be encouraged to work as quickly as he/she can and be as accurate as possible. For example, the subject should try not to press either the “Yes” or the “No” key before a card turns over, and the subject should try and remember all the cards that are presented in this test. If the subject makes a mistake he/she will hear an error sound.

Primary Outcome measure

Unit of measurement: Arcsine proportion correct

Description and interpretation of scores: Accuracy of performance; arcsine transformation of the square root of the proportion of correct responses. (Higher score = better performance)

Continuous Paired Associate Learning Test

The Continuous Paired Associate Learning Test uses a paired associative learning paradigm to measure visual memory.

Administration Time (in healthy volunteers): 7 Minutes

Cognitive Domain Measured: Paired Associate Learning

Continuous Paired Associate Learning Test Description

STAGE 1

The pre-test on-screen instructions ask: “In what locations do these pictures belong”

In this test, the subject must learn and remember the pictures hidden beneath different locations on the screen. The subject must tap the target on the central location to begin. As each picture to be learned is revealed, the subject must tap each location and remember where the picture was located.

STAGE 2

The pre-test on-screen instructions ask: “In what locations do these pictures belong”

Now the same pictures will be presented in the center of the screen, and the subject must tap on the peripheral location where that picture previously appeared.

Primary Outcome measure

Unit of measurement: Total errors

Description and interpretation of scores: Accuracy of performance; total number of errors across five rounds. (Lower score = better performance)

Groton Maze Learning Test – Delayed Recall

The Delayed Groton Maze Learning Test uses a maze learning paradigm to measure visual memory.

Administration Time (in healthy volunteers): 1 Minute

Cognitive Domain Measured: Memory

Groton Maze Learning Test – Delayed Recall Test Description

The 10 x 10 grid of tiles is shown again on the computer screen. The subject is asked to reproduce the pathway that he/she learned at the start of the Cogstate battery. The subject should start at the top left tile and try to remember the path to the end of the maze at the bottom right. The subject completes this delayed recall trial once.

Primary Outcome measure

Unit of measurement: Total errors

Description and interpretation of scores: Accuracy of performance; total number of errors after a delay. (Lower score = better performance)

International Shopping List Test

The International Shopping List Test uses a word list learning paradigm to measure verbal learning.

Administration Time (in healthy volunteers): 5 Minutes

Cognitive Domain Measured: Verbal Learning

International Shopping List Test Description

The phrase “Shopping List Learning” is displayed on screen. The pre-test on-screen instructions tell the test supervisor to start this test with the screen facing the supervisor so that the subject cannot see the screen.

TRIAL 1
The subject is told by the test supervisor: “In this test, I am going to read you a shopping list. I would like you to remember as many items from this list as possible. Are you ready to start?”

To begin, the test supervisor presses the “ENTER” key. The test supervisor reads the list of words as they appear on the computer screen at a rate of one word every two seconds.

When the test supervisor has read all the words they ask: “Tell me as many of the items on the shopping list as you can remember?”

As the subject recalls each word, the test supervisor clicks the appropriate button on the screen with the stylus or mouse.

If the subject says a word that was not on the list, the test supervisor will click “Other Word”. If the subject repeats a word, the test supervisor will click the corresponding button as many times as the word is said. If a button is clicked by mistake, the test supervisor can select “Undo Last” and then continue recording.

TRIAL 2 (and subsequent trials)
When the subject cannot recall any more items then the test supervisor instructs, “I am going to read you that same shopping list. Try and remember as many items as you can. Are you ready to start?

The entire word list is read again, in the same order as it was read previously. To begin, the test supervisor presses the “ENTER” key and reads the list of words as they appear on the computer screen at a rate of one word every two seconds. When the test supervisor has read all words they ask: “Now what were the items on the shopping list?”

Again, the test supervisor notes the items recalled by the subject by clicking/touching the corresponding button on screen with the stylus or mouse. In the standard version of this test, 3 learning trials are presented following this format.

The difficulty level of this test can be adjusted by presenting less or more words. The list of words can be anywhere from 2 to 16.

Primary Outcome measure

Unit of measurement: Number of correct responses

Description and interpretation of scores: Total number of correct responses made in remembering the list on three consecutive trials at a single session. (Higher score = better performance)

International Shopping List Test – Delayed Recall

The Delayed International Shopping List Test (ISLT) uses a word list paradigm to measure verbal memory.

Administration Time (in healthy volunteers): 1 Minutes

Cognitive Domain Measured: Memory

International Shopping List Test – Delayed Recall Test Description

In this test the individual is not shown anything. They are asked: “Now we are going to go back to the shopping list I read to you earlier. I need you to try and remember the items on this list and tell me what they were. Are you ready to start?”

The test supervisor presses the “ENTER” key to begin and instructs the subject “Tell me as many of the items on the shopping list as you can remember.” They then note all of the items recalled by the subject by clicking/touching the corresponding button on screen with the stylus or mouse.

Primary Outcome measure

Unit of measurement: Number of correct responses

Description and interpretation of scores: Total number of correct responses made in remembering the list after a delay. (Higher score = better performance)

One Back Test

The One Back Test uses an n-back paradigm to measure working memory.

Administration Time (in healthy volunteers): 4 Minutes

Cognitive Domain Measured: Working Memory

One Back Test Description

The pre-test on-screen instructions ask: “Is the previous card the same?” The test supervisor will read the test instructions from the script. To begin the test, the test supervisor or subject must press the “Enter” key.

A playing card is presented face up in the center of the screen. The subject must decide as each card is presented whether it is identical to the one just before. Therefore the first answer is always “No”. If the face up card is identical to the one presented immediately before it, the subject should press the “Yes” key, if it is not the same the subject should press the “No” key. The card in the center will go to the back of the pack revealing the next card. As soon as it does the subject must decide whether or not it is the same as the card he/she has just seen.

The subject will practice until they reach the required number of responses, or until the practice period expires.

Then, on screen instructions for the real test are presented. The test supervisor or subject must press the “Enter” key to begin the real test.

The subject should be encouraged to work as quickly as he/she can and be as accurate as possible. For example, the subject should try not to press either “Yes” or “No” key before a card turns over. If the subject makes a mistake he/she will hear an error sound.

Primary Outcome measure

Unit of measurement: Log10 milliseconds

Description and interpretation of scores: Speed of performance; mean of the log10 transformed reaction times for correct responses. (Lower score = better performance)

Two Back Test

The Two Back Test uses an n-back paradigm to measure working memory.

Administration Time (in healthy volunteers): 4 Minutes

Cognitive Domain Measured: Working Memory

Two Back Test Description

The pre-test on-screen instructions ask “IS THE CARD THE SAME AS THAT SHOWN TWO CARDS AGO?” The test supervisor will read the test instructions from the script. To begin the test, the test supervisor or subject must press the “Enter” key.

A playing card is presented face up in the center of the screen. The subject must decide as each card is presented whether it is identical to the card presented two cards previously. Therefore the first two answers are always “No”. If the face up card is identical to the one presented two cards previously, the subject should press the “Yes” key, if it is not the subject should press the “No” key. The card in the center will go to the back of the pack revealing the next card. As soon as it does the subject must decide whether or not it is the same as the card they saw two cards previously.

The subject will practice until he/she reaches the required number of responses, or until the practice period expires.

Then, on screen instructions for the real test are presented. The test supervisor or subject must press the “Enter” key to begin the real test.

The subject should be encouraged to work as quickly as he/she can and be as accurate as possible. For example, the subject should try not to press either “Yes” or “No” key before a card turns over. If the subject makes a mistake he/she will hear an error sound.

Primary Outcome measure

Unit of measurement: Arcsine proportion correct

Description and interpretation of scores: Accuracy of performance; arcsine transformation of the square root of the proportion of correct responses. (Higher score = better performance)

Social-Emotional Cognition Test

The Social-Emotional Cognition Test uses an odd-man-out paradigm to measure social emotional cognition.

Administration Time (in healthy volunteers): 6 Minutes

Cognitive Domain Measured: Emotional Recognition

Social-Emotional Cognition Test Description

The pre-test on-screen instructions ask, “Tap the odd one out”. The test supervisor will read the test instructions from the script.

In this test, the subject will see a number of pictures on the screen. One of these pictures will be different to the others in some way. The subject must decide which one of the pictures is different then tap that picture as quickly as they can.

The subject should be encouraged to work as quickly and as accurately as they can after each set of pictures appears.

Primary Outcome measure

Unit of measurement: Arcsine proportion correct

Description and interpretation of scores: Accuracy of performance; arcsine transformation of the square root of the proportion of correct responses. (Higher score = better performance)