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Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 804723, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/804723
Research Article

Computerized Neuropsychological Assessment in Aging: Testing Efficacy and Clinical Ecology of Different Interfaces

1Institute of Molecular Bioimaging and Physiology, National Research Council (IBFM-CNR), Segrate, 20090 Milan, Italy
2Laboratory of Neuropsychology, The Foundation of the Carlo Besta Neurological Institute, IRCSS, 20133 Milan, Italy

Received 18 April 2014; Revised 2 July 2014; Accepted 2 July 2014; Published 24 July 2014

Academic Editor: Fabio Babiloni

Copyright © 2014 Matteo Canini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Digital technologies have opened new opportunities for psychological testing, allowing new computerized testing tools to be developed and/or paper and pencil testing tools to be translated to new computerized devices. The question that rises is whether these implementations may introduce some technology-specific effects to be considered in neuropsychological evaluations. Two core aspects have been investigated in this work: the efficacy of tests and the clinical ecology of their administration (the ability to measure real-world test performance), specifically (1) the testing efficacy of a computerized test when response to stimuli is measured using a touch-screen compared to a conventional mouse-control response device; (2) the testing efficacy of a computerized test with respect to different input modalities (visual versus verbal); and (3) the ecology of two computerized assessment modalities (touch-screen and mouse-control), including preference measurements of participants. Our results suggest that (1) touch-screen devices are suitable for administering experimental tasks requiring precise timings for detection, (2) intrinsic nature of neuropsychological tests should always be respected in terms of stimuli presentation when translated to new digitalized environment, and (3) touch-screen devices result in ecological instruments being proposed for the computerized administration of neuropsychological tests with a high level of preference from elderly people.