Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Finger to Nose Test

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-79948-3_179


The Finger-to-Nose-Test measures smooth, coordinated upper-extremity movement by having the examinee touch the tip of his or her nose with his or her index finger. On one variation of the test, the examiner holds out his or her finger, about an arm’s length from the patient. The patient is instructed to touch the examiner’s finger, then his or her own nose. After several successful trials, the patient is then asked to repeat the action more quickly. Moving the target finger can increase the difficulty of the task.

Current Knowledge

This test is part of a comprehensive neurological examination. It is typically employed as part of coordination testing. The examiner looks for evidence of intention tremor or dysmetria. Dysmetria is evidenced by difficulty in controlling the range of movement. Dysmetria can result in undershooting or overshooting the target stimuli (i.e., examiner’s finger and/or examinee’s nose). Damage to the cerebellum can adversely affect a person’s ability...

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References and Readings

  1. Dietrichs, E. (2008). Clinical manifestation of focal cerebellar disease as related to the organization of neural pathways. Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, 188 (Supplement), 6–11.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Notermans, N. C., van Dijk, G. W., van der Graaf, Y., van Gijn, J., & Wokke, J. H. (1994). Measuring ataxia: Quantification based on the standard neurological examination. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, & Psychiatry, 57, 22–26.Google Scholar
  3. Swaine, B. R., Desrosiers, J., Bourbonnais, D., & Larochelle, J. L. (2005). Norms for 15- to 34-year-olds for different versions of the finger-to-nose test. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 86, 1665–1669.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of British Columbia British Columbia Mental Health & AddictionsVancouverCanada