A comparison of the Cambridge Automated Neuropsychological Test Battery (CANTAB) with “traditional” neuropsychological testing instruments

a Division of Medical Psychology, Duke University School of Medicine , Durham , NC , USA.
Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology (Impact Factor: 2.08). 02/2013; 35(3). DOI: 10.1080/13803395.2013.771618
Source: PubMed


The Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) is frequently used in research protocols and increasingly in clinical practice. Despite the frequency of its use, important aspects of its measurement validity have yet to be established in healthy adults. Two hundred and fifty-five individuals completed the CANTAB and traditional neuropsychological tests commonly used in clinical practice, including selected subtests from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Controlled Oral Word Association Test, Animal Naming, Trail Making Tests A and B, the Stroop test, and the Green Story Recall test. Results showed that CANTAB subtests were modestly correlated with traditional subtests. Correlations between CANTAB subtests and traditional subtests were less consistent when age and education were controlled for. In conclusion, the CANTAB shows modest associations with traditional neuropsychological test measures.

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    • "The results also showed that although CANTAB tests purported to measure memory were moderately associated with the memory factor, the same tests were also highly correlated with executive function (Smith et al., 2013). The authors proposed that while CANTAB tests might be a reasonable measure of " general " cognition, they may lack the ability to measure distinct cognitive functions (Smith et al., 2013). However, weak to moderate correlations are to be expected when the initial validity estimates of neuropsychological tests are only moderate. "
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    ABSTRACT: The Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) is a semiautomated computer interface for assessing cognitive function. We examined whether CANTAB tests measured specific cognitive functions, using established neuropsychological tests as a reference point. A sample of 500 healthy older (M = 60.28 years, SD = 6.75) participants in the Tasmanian Healthy Brain Project completed battery of CANTAB subtests and standard paper-based neuropsychological tests. Confirmatory factor analysis identified four factors: processing speed, verbal ability, episodic memory, and working memory. However, CANTAB tests did not consistently load onto the cognitive domain factors derived from traditional measures of the same function. These results indicate that five of the six CANTAB subtests examined did not load onto single cognitive functions. These CANTAB tests may lack the sensitivity to measure discrete cognitive functions in healthy populations or may measure other cognitive domains not included in the traditional neuropsychological battery. © The Author(s) 2015.
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