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Neuropsychopharmacology. 2001 Nov;25(5):766-76.

Computerized neurocognitive scanning: I. Methodology and validation in healthy people.

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  • 1Brain-Behavior Laboratory, Neuropsychiatry Section, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, 3400 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Neuropsychological testing batteries are applied in neurobehavioral evaluations of brain disorders, including neuropsychiatric populations. They are lengthy, require expert administrators and professional scorers, and are prone to data handling errors. We describe a brief computerized neurocognitive "scan" that assesses similar domains with adequate reliability. The scan and a traditional battery were administered to a sample of 92 healthy individuals (44 men, 48 women) in a counterbalanced order. Both approaches showed a significant "sex-typical" gradient, with women outperforming men in verbal memory relative to spatial tasks. Both methods also yielded similar profiles of sex differences, with the additional computerized measure of face memory showing better performance in women. Age effects were evident for both methods, but the computerized scan isolated the effects to speed rather than accuracy. Therefore, the computerized scan has favorable reliability and construct validity and can be applied efficiently to study healthy variability related to age and gender.

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