Learning and memory test suite

for your smartphone or tablet powered by Android


Copyright © 1982-2017 by Peter Laursen, DPsySc, DMedSc, PhD



The CFS-Mobile-Menu on a smartphone

✓ Four verbal and non-verbal tests each featuring separate sections for short-term memory/working memory and retention
✓ Automatic randomization of stimuli from built-in pools every time any of the tests is opened to minimize overlearning if repeated examinations of the same individual, e.g. in longitudinal studies
✓ Unique parameterization. In addition to traditional psychometric parameters all four tests feature a systematic and extensive qualitative response process recording and display, meeting the wishes of the most demanding psychologist
✓ Accurate and automatic time-taking to 1/10 of a second
✓ 16 different languages
✓ Sound-based test for the examination of clients with lack of vision
✓ Higher ceiling than 'classical' learning and memory tests aiming at greater sensitivity for minor memory deficits
✓ Published validation studies based on large random samples of the general Danish population
✓ Examination anywhere: in clinic, at bedside, for large population studies, etc.
✓ Fixed-length output file for each examination ready for export to relational database systems or datasets for subsequent analysis by means of statistical software like SAS, SPSS, Stata, etc.
✓ Manual in pdf-format (50 pages) with test instructions (in English) and installation guide, etc.


Face Recognition Test

The Face Recognition Test consists of three series of portraits presented on the screen of your mobile device. The portraits are ordinary male citizens not known to the public. The first series is composed of nine portraits, which the subject is asked to look at carefully so that he will be able to point them out when he sees them among 25 other portraits. Every stimulus picture is shown for five seconds. The second series consists of 34 portraits, among which are the nine stimulus portraits. This series is run immediately after the first series and the subject is asked to respond "yes" or "no" to every portrait presented. The subject gives his responses at his own pace via touch buttons on the smartphone or tablet. Once a response has been given, correction is not possible. The test also includes a retention section to be taken approximately 1 hour after the the learning section.

The following photo shows the response screen of the retention section of the Face Recognition Test on a smartphone.

The CFS-Mobile-Face Recognition Test on a smartphone

The selection and arrangement of the stimulus pictures are made according to a random procedure each time the test is initialized in order to reduce the test re-test effect. The parameters of the test are:

Short-term memory:

  • Number of unrecognized faces

  • Number of incorrectly recognized faces

  • Response latencies total in seconds

  • 102 qualitative response process parameters explicating cognitive style, etc.


  • Retention:
  • Number of unrecognized faces

  • Number of incorrectly recognized faces

  • Response latencies total in seconds

  • 102 qualitative response process parameters explicating cognitive style, etc.


  • Word Recognition Test

    The second test in the system is the Word Recognition Test offering 16 different languages independently of the language used for the entire examination. The languages available are Danish, Dutch, English, Faroese, Finnish, French, German, Greenlandic, Icelandic, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Serbo-Croatian and Turkish.

    The Word Recognition Test is technically parallel to the Face Recognition Test, thus allowing comparison of the functioning of the two brain hemispheres. The test consists of three series of adjectives presented on the computer screen. The first series is composed of nine words, which the subject is asked to look at carefully so that he will be able to point them out when he sees them among 25 other words. Every stimulus word is shown for five seconds. The second series consists of 34 words, among which are the nine stimulus words. This series is run immediately after the first series and the subject is asked to respond "yes" or "no" to every word presented. Once a response has been given, correction is not possible. The test also includes a retention section to be taken approximately 1 hour after the the learning section.

    The following two photos show example screens of the Word Recognition Test on a smartphone. The first photo shows the screen from which the language is chosen for the words to be learned. The second photo shows the response screen of the immediate recognition section of the Word Recognition Test.

    Flags guiding the choise of language The CFS-Mobile-Word Recognition Test on a smartphone

    As with the Face Recognition Test the sequence of the stimulus words is made according to a random procedure each time the test is initialized in order to reduce the test re-test effect. The parameters of the test are:

    Short-term memory:

  • Number of unrecognized words

  • Number of incorrectly recognized words

  • Response latencies total in seconds

  • 102 qualitative response process parameters explicating cognitive style, etc.


  • Retention:
  • Number of unrecognized words

  • Number of incorrectly recognized words

  • Response latencies total in seconds

  • 102 qualitative response process parameters explicating cognitive style, etc.


  • Sound Recognition Test

    The Sound Recognition Test is a new test to the Cognitive Function Scanner system. It is made over the same model as the Face Recognition Test and the Word Recognition Test but offers environmental sounds as objects. The new test is included to offer a learning and memory test suitable for the assessment of learning and memory of blind people. All sounds are authentic recordings from actual life situations.

    The test consists of three series of sounds presented via the smartphone's loudspeaker or headphone set. The first series is composed of nine sounds, which the subject is asked to carefully listen to so that he will be able to point them out when he is presented for them among 25 other sounds. Every sound stimulus is presented for five seconds with a pause of two seconds so that the client can distinguish between the presented sounds. The second series consists of 34 sounds, among which are the nine stimulus sounds. This series is run immediately after the first series and the subject is asked to respond "yes" or "no" to every sound presented via two touch buttons located in the lower corners of the smartphone or tablet making tactile navigation possible via the rim of the smartphone or tablet. Once a response has been given, correction is not possible. The test also includes a retention section to be taken approximately 1 hour after the the learning section.

    The following photo shows the performance summary screen after both the immediate section and the retention section are done on a smartphone.

    The CFS-Mobile-Sound Recognition Test on a smartphone

    As with the Face Recognition Test and the Word Recognition Test the sequence of the stimulus sounds is made according to a random procedure each time the test is initialized in order to reduce the test re-test effect. The parameters of the test are:

    Short-term memory:

  • Number of unrecognized sounds

  • Number of incorrectly recognized sounds

  • Response latencies total in seconds

  • 102 qualitative response process parameters explicating cognitive style, etc.


  • Retention:
  • Number of unrecognized sounds

  • Number of incorrectly recognized sounds

  • Response latencies total in seconds

  • 102 qualitative response process parameters explicating cognitive style, etc.


  • Number Learning Test with selective reminding

    In the Number Learning Test the subject is asked to remember eight two-digit numbers, which are randomly generated by the smartphone or tablet in the interval 21-99. The numbers are shown on the screen at intervals of three seconds. When the numbers are presented, the subject is asked to read them aloud concurrently with their appearance on the screen. When all eight numbers have been shown, the subject is asked to respond. He may enter the numbers in any order he likes by means of the numeric keyboard appearing to the right or to the left of the screen according to information on handedness entered at an earlier point of the examination. If some numbers are missing, only the missing numbers are shown to him again. After a few seconds, when the screen is cleared, the subject has to enter all eight numbers again. If some of the numbers are still missing, these are shown again. The test continues with this selective reminding until the subject has learned all eight numbers, or to the maximum of 10 trials.

    The following two photos show example screens of the Number Learning Test on a smartphone. The first photo shows the response screen in one of the 10 possible rounds available for learning. Please note that every number entered is overwritten after it is entered to prevent feedback from already correctly entered numbers and false feedback from incorrectly entered numbers. The second photo shows the performance summary after the completed learning section with selective reminding. The

    The CFS-Mobile-Face Recognition Test on a smartphone The CFS-Mobile-Face Recognition Test on a smartphone

    The number series is automatically changed each time the test is initialized.

    Like the two former tests the Number Learning Test includes a section of retention in which the subject is asked to enter the numbers he remembers. This entry is made approximately 1 hour after the learning process is completed. The parameters of the test are:

    Short-term memory:

  • Number of unrecalled numbers in the first trial

  • Number of "invented" numbers in the first trial

  • Number of perseverations in the first trial

  • Response latency for each response in seconds.


  • Learning:
  • Number of unrecalled numbers in each trial

  • Number of retrieval errors in each trial (i.e. numbers which have been entered at least once but for a period of time were unretrievable during the learning process)

  • Number of "invented" numbers in each trial


  • Number of perseverations in each trial

  • Total number of unrecalled numbers

  • Total number of retrieval errors

  • Total number of "invented" numbers

  • Total number of perseverations

  • Response latencies total in seconds

  • Up to 1,200 qualitative response process parameters (depending on the ability to learn) explicating cognitive style, etc.


  • Retention:
  • Number of unrecalled numbers

  • Number of "invented" numbers

  • Number of perseverations

  • Response latencies total in seconds.

  • Up to 90 qualitative response process parameters explicating cognitive style, etc.


  • Technical specification

    The Cognitive Function Scanner Mobile App is developed for use on smartphones and tablets driven by the Android operating system, for example devices produced by Samsung. The app has shown to work on Android releases from version 2.3 or later with the exception of the Sound Recognition Test that demands Android version 4.4. The current version of Cognitive Function Scanner Mobile, 1.14, takes up approximately 30 MB of the device memory.


    History

    The prototype to the Cognitive Function Scanner system was developed back in 1982 in the labs of the Danish National Institute of Occupational Health. The purpose was to establish an efficient, standardized, and reliable method for assessment of cognitive status of the general public.

    The Cognitive Function Scanner was, among other things, used in two large-scale longitudinal studies (1982-83 and 1993-94) of cognitive performance of the general Danish population. The results from these two studies were published in two supplement volumes to the scientific journal Acta Neurologica Scandinavica in 1990 and 1997.

    At these occasions an extensive statistical material was collected across several age groups, gender and schooling (vocational training) and a set of norms was established for 45 psychometric parameters covering learning and memory, psychomotor functioning, visuo-spatial functioning, attention, perception, and vigilance. The norms cover the age span from 25 to 75 years. For decades the technical solutions of the system together with the unparalleled set of norms made the Cognitive Function Scanner probably to the most distinctive system of its kind.

    After the Cognitive Function Scanner came commercially available in 1988 it has mostly been used in traditional clinical work within neurology and psychiatry, i.e. neuropsychological assessment with a diagnostic purpose. The users have been university hospitals and district hospitals all over the Nordic countries.

    In addition to learning and memory tests the prototype and all releases of the Cognitive Function Scanner for the PC-environment included tests of visuo-motor functioning, visuo-spatial functioning, attention, vigilance and concentration to ensure a high degree of comprehensiveness and ecological validity of the battery. These tests were done by means of very accurate graphics tablets featuring pens resembling ordinary ballpoint pens.

    With the introduction of the Cognitive Function Scanner release 3-1 in 1996 a detailed time-linked continuous recording of the response process was included. In complex clinical cases these qualitative data can act as a valuable support for the interpretation of psychometric results. In addition to cognitive functioning and style the qualitative data elucidates and documents personality traits related to collaboration during the examination. Like all scoring and time measurements in the Cognitive Function Scanner systems the recording of the response process takes place "in the background", i.e. without any signs which can disturb the tested subject, and with the accuracy of 1/10 of a second.

    Especially for the testing of reaction-time in relation to acquisition or renewal of a driving license, a stand-alone version of the continuous Reaction Time Test was introduced by the late 1990s and marketed as the RT-Profile Test.

    With introduction of mobile computers, tablets, and smartphones, etc. demands to portable and highly efficient neuropsychological test systems has grown. The development of Cognitive Function Scanner Mobile is in an ongoing process, but for the time being, unfortunately, it has not yet become possible to achieve the needed accuracy of pen input for a psychological test on any available smartphone or tablet. Among the reasons are parallel axis problems, slippery surface, lack of pen sharpness and durability of pen tip, limited size of active surface, etc.

    Today the Cognitive Function Scanner for the PC is replaced by the Cognitive Function Scanner Mobile for smartphones and tablets. Like the original system, the mobile version is a comprehensive state-of-the-art assessment tool including four tests of learning and memory featuring the same assets as the learning and memory tests in the latest PC-version, but with the addition of a learning and memory test of environmental sounds so that blind people also can be examined neuropsychologically by means of a digital device.

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