, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 89-100

MicroCog: Assessment of Cognitive Functioning

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Abstract

MicroCog: Assessment of Cognitive Functioning version 2.1 (Powell, D. H., Kaplan, E. F., Whitla, D., Catlin, R., and Funkenstein, H. H. (1993). The Psychological corporation, San Antonio, TX.) is one of the first computerized assessment batteries commercially developed to detect early signs of cognitive impairment. This paper reviews its psychometric characteristics and relates them to its clinical utility. It concludes that MicroCog provides an accurate, cost-effective screen for early dementia among elderly subjects living in the community and that it can distinguish dementia from depression. Its ability to detect cognitive decline at other ages or to discriminate dementia from other mental disorders has not been established. MicroCog measures different constructs than do traditional neuropsychological tests, making it difficult to relate test performance to current models of cognitive functioning. The review recommends further development of MicroCog and discusses its implications for the future of computer-based neuropsychological assessment.