Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Continuous Performance Tests

  • Ronald A. CohenEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1280




An attention paradigm that has evolved into a class of neuropsychological tests used to assess sustained attention. There is not a single continuous performance test (CPT), as a number of commercially available and research CPT tasks exist and have been published in the neuropsychological literature. The common characteristic of all CPT tests is that they involve sequential presentation of stimuli, usually letters or numbers, over an extended period of time. The task demand is to attend and respond to particular target stimuli, while ignoring other stimuli that serve as nontarget distractors.

Historical Background

Early efforts by psychologists to assess attention in the context of intellectual or other cognitive testing typically relied on tests such as digit span, which provided a useful measure of attentional focus and span, but did not address other important elements of attention, such as the patients’ ability to selectively attend to information or to...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical and Health PsychologyCollege of Public Health and Health Professions, University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Center for Cognitive Aging and MemoryMcKnight Brain Institute, University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA