Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

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

King-Devick Test

  • Kristin Galetta
  • Steven Galetta
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_9127


K-D; K-D test


The King-Devick Test (K-D) is a brief, rapid number naming test that evaluates neurologic functioning through the use of eye movement speed. The K-D consists of one demonstration card and three test cards. The cards each consist of single digit numbers with variable spacing between them. Participants read each card from left to right, row by row, as fast as possible without making errors. Each successive card increases in difficulty, as the spacing between numbers becomes less regular and therefore more visually challenging, particularly the last card in which the numbers are more crowded together. The time for each card is recorded and then summed to create total K-D score. The test generally takes less than 2 min to administer. A higher total K-D score, reflecting more time to read the cards, indicates worse performance. It requires minimal training to administer.

Historical Background

The K-D was originally created to assess reading ability (King...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Readings

  1. Davies, E. C., Henderson, S., Balcer, L. J., & Galetta, S. L. (2012). Residency training: The King-Devick test and sleep deprivation: Study in pre- and post-call neurology residents. Neurology, 78(17), e103–e106.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Fayyaz T., Edwards J., Scull L., Ayaz, H., Shewokis P., Libon, D., Deboo, A., & Heiman-Patterson, T. (2014, April). Cortical hemodynamics assessment in ALS during cognitive testing using functional near infrared spectroscopy. Poster Presentation at American Academy of Neurology 2014 Annual meeting. Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  3. Galetta, K. M., Barrett, J., Allen, M., Madda, F., Delicata, D., Tennant, A. T., Branas, C. C., Maguire, M. G., Messner, L. V., Devick, S., Galetta, S. L., & Balcer, L. J. (2011). The King-Devick test as a determinant of head trauma and concussion in boxers and MMA fighters. Neurology, 76(17), 1456–1462.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Galetta, K. M., Liu, M., Leong, D. F., Ventura, R. E., Galetta, S.l., & Balcer, L. J. (2015). The King-Devick test of rapid number naming for concussion detection: Meta-analysis and systematic review of the literature. Concussion.  https://doi.org/10.2217/cnc.15.8
  5. King, A.T., and Devick, S. (1976). The proposed King-Devick test and its relation to the pierce saccade test and reading levels (Senior research project). Chicago: Illinois College of Optometry.Google Scholar
  6. King, D., Brughelli, M., Hume, P., & Gissane, C. (2013). Concussions in amateur rugby union identified with the use of a rapid visual screening tool. Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 326(1–2), 59–63.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Leong, D. F., Master, C. L., Messner, L. V., Pang, Y., Smith, C., & Starling, A. (2013). The effect of saccadic training on early reading fluency. Clinical Pediatrics, 53(9), 858–864.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lin, T. P., Adler, C. H., Hentz, J. G., Balcer, L. J., Galetta, S. L., & Devick, S. (2014). Slowing of number naming speed by King–Devick test in Parkinson’s disease. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, 20, 226–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Moster, S., Wilson, J. A., Galetta, S. L., et al. (2014). The King–Devick (K–D) test of rapid eye movements: A bedside correlate of disability and quality of life in MS. Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 343, 105–109.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. Raynowska, J., Hasanaj, L., Zhang, I., Serrano, L., Birkemeier, J., et al. (2015). Agreement of the spiral-bound and computerized tablet versions of the King-Devick test of rapid number naming for sports related concussion. Annal Sports Medical Research, 2(9), 1051.Google Scholar
  11. Spradley, B., Wiriyanpinit, S., & Magner, A. (2014). Baseline concussion testing in different environments: A pilot study. Sport J. Published online March 12. [cited 2018 January 24]. Available from http://thesportjournal.org/article/baseline-concussion-testing-in-different-environments-a-pilot-study/
  12. Stepanek, J., Cevette, M. J., Pradhan, G. N., Studer, M., Kuhn, F., & Cocco, D. (2013). Early detection of hypoxia-induced cognitive impairment using the King-Devick test. Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 84, 1017–1022.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  13. Vartiainen, M. V., Holm, A., Peltonen, K., Luoto, T. M., Iverson, G. L., & Hokkanen, L. (2015). King-Devick test normative reference values for professional male ice hockey players. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 25(3), e327–e330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ventura, R. E., Jancuska, J. M., Balcer, L. J., & Galetta, S. L. (2015). Diagnostic tests for concussion: Is vision part of the puzzle? Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology, 35(1), 73–81.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristin Galetta
    • 1
  • Steven Galetta
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyNew York University of MedicineNew YorkUSA