State-of-the-art neuropsychological test suites

for your smartphone or tablet powered by Android


Copyright © 1982-2018 by Peter Laursen, DPsySc, DMedSc, PhD

The Cognitive Function Scanner Mobile Learning and Memory Test Suite and the Cognitive Function Scanner Mobile Performance Test Suite constitute together a comprehensive state-of-the-art neuropsychological assessment tool including nine tests of learning and memory, eye-hand coordination, visuospatial functioning, perception, attention, and vigilance, i.e., a total of 44 psychometric parameters. The tests (except the new Environmental Sound Recognition Test) come with reference values generated with the PC-version on the basis of large epidemiological studies of representative samples of the general Danish population (N=711 and N=1,026).


In addition to the psychometric parameters both apps include detailed time-linked recording of the response process in accordance with the recommendations of modern cognitive psychology, supplying valuable qualitative information for interpretation of the test results. Like all scoring and time measurements recording of the response process takes place in the background, i.e., without any signs which could disturb the tested subject.

The two apps may be used independently of each other.

Technical information

The Cognitive Function Scanner Mobile Apps are developed for use on smartphones and tablets driven by the Android operating system, for example devices produced by Samsung. The Cognitive Function Scanner Mobile Learning and Memory Test Suite app has shown to work on smartphones and tablets of different brands running Android releases from version 2.3 or later with the exception of the Sound Recognition Test that demands Android version 4.4 or later.

The Cognitive Function Scanner Mobile Performance Test Suite comprises genuine pencil tests utilising the newest high-precision digital technology. The app is especially designed for Samsung Galaxy tablets with S Pen running Android version 6 or later combined with Staedler's digital pencil in the classical Noris series.

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 prototype was built over a Tektronix 4052 desktop computer and a Tektronix 4956 graphics tablet. Both instruments had undergone technical modifications. As computer screens those days were monochrome a slide projector controlled by the computer was used for the display of portrait photos in a test of face recognition.

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.

Prototype
The Cognitive Function Scanner prototype. Glostrup Hospital, Denmark 1982

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, visuospatial functioning, attention, perception, and vigilance. The norms cover the age span from 25 to 75 years.

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 being university hospitals and district hospitals all over the Nordic countries. For decades the technical solutions of the system together with the unparalleled set of norms probably made the Cognitive Function Scanner to the most distinctive system of its kind.

Prototype
The first commercially available Cognitive Function Scanner for the PC, 1989

In addition to learning and memory tests the prototype and all releases of the Cognitive Function Scanner for the PC-environment included tests of visuomotor functioning, visuospatial 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.

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. Today the Cognitive Function Scanner for the PC is replaced by the Cognitive Function Scanner Mobile apps for smartphones and tablets. Like the original system, the mobile versions are comprehensive state-of-the-art assessment tools including tests of learning and memory, true pencil tests for eye-hand coordination, visuospatial functioning, perception, attention, and vigilance.