Digital neuropsychological test performance in a large sample of uninjured collegiate athletes

Jessica Saalfield, Kelsey L. Piersol, Carrie Esopenko, Marsha E. Bates, Scott A. Weismiller, Kyle Brostrand, Sabrina M. Todaro, Fiona N. Conway, Elisabeth A. Wilde, Jennifer F. Buckman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Digital neuropsychological test batteries are popular in college athletics; however, well-validated digital tests that are short and portable are needed to expand the feasibility of performing cognitive testing quickly, reliably, and outside standard clinical settings. This study assessed performance on digital versions of Trail Making Test (dTMT) and a modified Symbol Digit Modalities Test (dSDMT) in uninjured collegiate athletes (n = 537; 47% female) using the C3Logix baseline assessment module. Time to complete (dTMT) and the number of correct responses (dSDMT) were computed, transformed into z scores, and compared to age-matched normative data from analogous paper-and-pencil tests. Overall sample performance was compared to normative sample performance using Cohen’s d. Sample averages on the dTMT, Part A, and dSDMT were similar to published norms; 97 and 92% of z scores fell within 2 standard deviations of normative means, respectively. The sample averaged faster completion times on dTMT, Part B than published norms, although 98% of z scores were within 2 standard deviations of the normative means. Brief, digitized tests may be useful in populations and testing environments when longer cognitive test batteries are impractical. Future studies should assess the ability of these tests to detect clinically relevant changes following a suspected head injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalApplied neuropsychology. Adult
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Keywords

  • Cognitive performance
  • computerized testing
  • normative data
  • sex differences
  • young adult

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