Neuropsychological test
Neuropsychological tests are specifically designed tasks used to measure a psychological function known to be linked to a particular brain
The brain is the center of the nervous system in all vertebrate and most invertebrate animals—only a few primitive invertebrates such as sponges, jellyfish, sea squirts and starfishes do not have one. It is located in the head, usually close to primary sensory apparatus such as vision, hearing,...

 structure or pathway. Tests are used for research
Cognitive neuropsychology
Cognitive neuropsychology is a branch of cognitive psychology that aims to understand how the structure and function of the brain relates to specific psychological processes. It places a particular emphasis on studying the cognitive effects of brain injury or neurological illness with a view to...

 into brain function and in a clinical
Clinical neuropsychology
Clinical neuropsychology is a sub-field of psychology concerned with the cognitive function of individuals with neurological and psychiatric disorders. Neuropsychological assessment examines cognitive function in the broadest sense, including the behavioural, emotional, social and functional status...

 setting for the diagnosis of deficits. They usually involve the systematic administration of clearly defined procedures in a formal environment. Neuropsychological tests are typically administered to a single person working with an examiner in a quiet office environment, free from distractions. As such, it can be argued that neuropsychological tests at times offer an estimate of a person's peak level of cognitive performance. Neuropsychological tests are a core component of the process of conducting neuropsychological assessment
Neuropsychological assessment
Neuropsychological assessment was traditionally carried out to assess the extent of impairment to a particular skill and to attempt to locate an area of the brain which may have been damaged after brain injury or neurological illness...

, along with personal, interpersonal and contextual factors.

Most neuropsychological tests in current use are based on traditional psychometric theory. In this model, a person's raw score
Raw score
In statistics and data analysis, a raw score is an original datum that has not been transformed. This may include, for example, the original result obtained by a student on a test as opposed to that score after transformation to a standard score or percentile rank or the like.Often the conversion...

 on a test is compared to a large general population normative
Normative has specialized contextual meanings in several academic disciplines. Generically, it means relating to an ideal standard or model. In practice, it has strong connotations of relating to a typical standard or model ....

 sample, that should ideally be drawn from a comparable population to the person being examined. Normative studies frequently provide data stratified by age, level of education, and/or ethnicity, where such factors have been shown by research to affect performance on a particular test. This allows for a person's performance to be compared to a suitable control group, and thus provide a fair assessment of their current cognitive function.

Categories of neuropsychological tests

Most forms of cognition actually involve multiple cognitive functions working in unison, however tests can be organised into broad categories based on the cognitive function which they predominantly assess.


Intelligence has been defined in different ways, including the abilities for abstract thought, understanding, communication, reasoning, learning, planning, emotional intelligence and problem solving....

 testing in a research context is relatively more straightforward than in a clinical context. In research, intelligence is tested and results are generally as obtained, however in a clinical setting intelligence maybe impaired. The presence of impairment can be determined through a number of methods which include:
Comparison of test results to expected achievement levels based on prior education and occupation. The use of hold tests
Hold test
Hold tests are neuropsychological tests which tap abilities which are thought to be largely resistant to cognitive declines following neurological damage...

 which are based on cognitive faculties which are generally good indicators of intelligence and thought to be more resistant to cognitive damage, e.g. language.
  • Ammons Quick Test
    Ammons Quick Test
    Ammons Quick Test is an intelligence test that was designed in 1962 by Robert B. Ammons and his wife Carol H. Ammons. This test has been used for many years to help assess premorbid intelligence. It is a passive response picture-vocabulary test...

  • National Adult Reading Test
    National Adult Reading Test
    The National Adult Reading Test is a widely accepted and commonly used method in clinical settings for estimating premorbid intelligence levels of English-speaking patients with dementia in neuropsychological research and practice. Such tests are called hold tests as these abilities are thought to...

  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale
    Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale
    The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale intelligence quotient tests are the primary clinical instruments used to measure adult and adolescent intelligence. The original WAIS was published in February 1955 by David Wechsler, as a revision of the Wechsler-Bellevue Intelligence Scale...

  • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children
    Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children
    The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children , developed by Dr. David Wechsler, is an individually administered intelligence test for children between the ages of 6 and 16 inclusive that can be completed without reading or writing...

  • Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence
    Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence
    The Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence is an intelligence test designed for children ages 2 years 6 months to 7 years 3 months developed by David Wechsler in 1967. It is a descendent of the earlier Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children...

  • Wechsler Test of Adult Reading


In psychology, memory is an organism's ability to store, retain, and recall information and experiences. Traditional studies of memory began in the fields of philosophy, including techniques of artificially enhancing memory....

 is a very broad ability which includes several types of memory which can be selectively impaired. If there are indications that memory maybe impaired, tests focussing on specific types of memory or a more thorough battery of memory tests is required to accurately define exactly what memory processes have been impaired.
  • California Verbal Learning Test
  • Cambridge Prospective Memory Test (CAMPROMPT)
  • Doors and People
    Doors and People
    Doors and People is a neuropsychological test of memory developed as a memory battery . The test takes about 35–45 minutes to complete and can be administered on individuals aged between 18 to 80 years old. It consists of four main categories; doors, people, shapes and names...

  • Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test
  • Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test
  • Test of Memory and Learning (TOMAL)
  • Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM)
  • Wechsler Memory Scale
    Wechsler Memory Scale
    The Wechsler Memory Scale is a neuropsychological test designed to measure different memory functions in a person. It can be used with people from age 16 through 90. The current version is the fourth edition which was published in 2009 and which was designed to be used with the WAIS-IV...



Language functions include speech, reading and writing, all of which can be selectively impaired.
  • Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination
    Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination
    The Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination or BDAE is a test used to evaluate adults suspected of having aphasia, and is currently in its third edition. It was created by Harold Goodglass and Edith Kaplan...

  • Boston Naming Test
  • Comprehensive Aphasia Test
    Comprehensive Aphasia Test
    The Comprehensive Aphasia Test was created by Kate Swinburn, Gillian Porter and David Howard. The CAT is a new test for people who have acquired aphasia, the impairment of language ability. The comprehensive assessment can be completed over one or two sessions...

  • Lexical decision task
    Lexical decision task
    The lexical decision task is a procedure used in many psychology and psycholinguistics experiments. The basic procedure involves measuring how quickly people classify stimuli as words or nonwords....

  • Multilingual Aphasia Examination

Executive Function

Executive functions
Executive functions
The executive system is a theorized cognitive system in psychology that controls and manages other cognitive processes. It is responsible for processes that are sometimes referred to as the executive function, executive functions, supervisory attentional system, or cognitive control...

 are an umbrella term for a various cognitive processes and sub-processes. The executive functions include: problem solving, planning, organisational skills, selective attention, inhibitory control and some aspects of short term memory.
  • Behavioural Assessment of Dysexecutive Syndrome (BADS)
  • CogScreen: Aeromedical Edition
  • Continuous Performance Task
    Continuous Performance Task
    A Continuous Performance Task/Test, or CPT, is a neuropsychological test which measures a person's sustained and selective attention and impulsivity. Sustained attention is the ability to maintain a consistent focus on some continuous activity or stimuli, and is associated with impulsivity....

  • Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT)
  • d2 Test of Attention
  • Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS)
  • Digit Vigilance Test
  • Figural Fluency Test
  • Halstead Category Test
  • Hayling and Brixton tests
    Hayling and Brixton tests
    The Hayling and Brixton tests are neuropsychological tests of executive function created by psychologists Paul W. Burgess and Tim Shallice.It is composed of two tests, the Hayling Sentence Completion Test and the Brixton Spatial Awareness Test....

  • Iowa gambling task
    Iowa gambling task
    The Iowa gambling task is a psychological task thought to simulate real-life decision making.It was introduced by Antoine Bechara, António Damásio, Daniel Tranel and Steven Anderson, then researchers at the University of Iowa...

  • Kaplan Baycrest Neurocognitive Assessment (KBNA)
  • Kaufman Short Neuropsychological Assessment
  • Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test
    Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test
    Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test is a neuropsychological test, used to assess capacity and rate of information processing and sustained and divided attention .Originally the test was known as the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task...

  • Pediatric Attention Disorders Diagnostic Screener
    Pediatric Attention Disorders Diagnostic Screener
    The Pediatric Attention Disorders Diagnostic Screener , created by Dr. Thomas K. Pedigo and Kenneth L. Pedigo, is a suite of computer administered neuropsychological tests of attention and executive functioning. The PADDS is used in the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in...

  • Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure
    Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure
    The Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test is a neuropsychological assessment in which examinees are asked to reproduce a complicated line drawing, first by copying and then from memory...

  • Ruff Figural Fluency Test
  • Stroop task
    Stroop effect
    Purple Blue Purple----Blue Purple RedGreen Purple Green----the Stroop effect refers to the fact that naming the color of the first set of words is easier and quicker than the second....

  • Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.)
  • Tower of London Test
    Tower of London Test
    The Tower of London test is a well-known test used in applied clinical neuropsychology for the assessment of executive functioning specifically to detect deficits in planning, which may occur due to a variety of medical and neuropsychiatric conditions...

  • Trail-Making Test
    Trail-making test
    The Trail-making test is a neuropsychological test of visual attention and task switching. The task requires a subject to 'connect-the-dots' of 25 consecutive targets on a sheet of paper or computer screen. Two versions are available: A, in which the targets are all numbers , and B, in which the...

     (TMT) or Trails A & B
  • Wisconsin card sorting task
    Wisconsin card sort
    The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test is a neuropsychological test of "set-shifting", i.e. the ability to display flexibility in the face of changing schedules of reinforcement. The WCST was written by David A. Grant and Esta A. Berg. The Professional Manual for the WCST was written by Robert K. Heaton,...

  • Symbol Digit Modalities Test

Dementia specific

Dementia is a serious loss of cognitive ability in a previously unimpaired person, beyond what might be expected from normal aging...

 testing is often done by way of testing the cognitive functions that are most often impaired by the disease e.g. memory, orientation, language and problem solving. Tests such as these are by no means conclusive of deficits, but may give a good indication as to the presence or severity of dementia.
  • Clinical Dementia Rating
    Clinical Dementia Rating
    The Clinical Dementia Rating or CDR is a numeric scale used to quantify the severity of symptoms of dementia .Using a structured-interview protocol developed by John C...

  • Dementia Rating Scale
  • MCI Screen
    MCI Screen
    The MCI Screen is a brief neuropsychological test derived from the protocol of the CERAD 10-word recall test. The protocol consists of an immediate recall task, a triadic comparison task, a judgment task, a delayed free recall task, a cued-recall task, and a rehearsed recall task...

Batteries assessing multiple neuropsychological function

There are some test batteries which combine a range of tests to provide an overview of cognitive skills. These are usually good early tests to rule out problems in certain functions and provide an indication of functions which may need to be tested more specifically.
  • Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery
    Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery
    The Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery , originally developed at the University of Cambridge in the 1980s but now provided in a commercial capacity by Cambridge Cognition, is a computer-based cognitive assessment system consisting of a battery of neuropsychological tests,...

  • Cognistat (The Neurobehavioral Cognitive Status Examination)
    Cognistat (The Neurobehavioral Cognitive Status Examination)
    Cognistat, formerly known as the Neurobehavioral Cognitive Status Examination , is a cognitive screening test that assesses five cognitive ability areas...

  • Cognitive Assessment Screening Instrument (CASI)
  • Cognitive Function Scanner
    Cognitive Function Scanner
    The Cognitive Function Scanner originally developed by Peter Laursen, DMedSci, DPsySci, and Thomas Sams, PhD, for the Danish National Institute of Occupational Health in the early 1980s...

  • Dean-Woodcock Neuropsychology Assessment System (DWNAS)
  • General Practitioner Assessment Of Cognition
    General Practitioner Assessment Of Cognition
    The General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition is a brief screening test for cognitive impairment introduced by Brodaty et al. in 2002. It was specifically developed for the use in the primary care setting.- The test :...

  • Hooper Visual Organization Test
  • Luria-Nebraska Neuropsychological battery
    Luria-Nebraska neuropsychological battery
    The Luria-Nebraska neuropsychological battery is a standardized test based on the theories of Alexander Luria regarding neuropsychological functioning.There are 14 scales:# motor functions,# rhythm,# tactile functions,# visual functions,...

  • MicroCog
  • Mini mental state examination (MMSE)
    NEPSY is a series of neuropsychological tests authored by Marit Korkman, Ursula Kirk and Sally Kemp, that are used in various combinations to assess neuropsychological development in children ages 3–16 years in six functional domains...

  • Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status
    Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status
    The Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status is a neuropsychological assessment initially introduced in 1998. It consists of ten subtests which give five scores, one for each of the five domains tested...

  • CDR Computerized Assessment System
    CDR Computerized Assessment System
    The CDR Computerized Assessment System is a computerized battery of cognitive tests designed in the late 1970s by Professor Keith Wesnes at the University of Reading in Berkshire, England, for repeated testing in clinical trails...

See also

  • Clinical neuropsychology
    Clinical neuropsychology
    Clinical neuropsychology is a sub-field of psychology concerned with the cognitive function of individuals with neurological and psychiatric disorders. Neuropsychological assessment examines cognitive function in the broadest sense, including the behavioural, emotional, social and functional status...

  • Neurocognitive
    Neurocognitive is a term used to describe cognitive functions closely linked to the function of particular areas, neural pathways, or cortical networks in the brain substrate layers of neurological matrix at the cellular molecular level...

  • Neuroimaging
    Neuroimaging includes the use of various techniques to either directly or indirectly image the structure, function/pharmacology of the brain...

  • Psychological testing
    Psychological testing
    Psychological testing is a field characterized by the use of samples of behavior in order to assess psychological construct, such as cognitive and emotional functioning, about a given individual. The technical term for the science behind psychological testing is psychometrics...

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