Neurobehavioral test performance in the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

Neurotoxicol Teratol. Nov-Dec 2001;23(6):569-89. doi: 10.1016/s0892-0362(01)00177-5.

Abstract

The third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) contained three computerized neurobehavioral tests from the Neurobehavioral Evaluation System (NES): simple reaction time, symbol-digit substitution and serial digit learning. The neurobehavioral data that were collected came from a nationally representative sample of adults 20-59 years old. Performance on the tests was related to sex, age, education level, family income and race-ethnicity. Performance decreased as age increased, and increased as education level and family income increased. Differences in performance between sexes, levels of education and racial-ethnic groups tended to decrease as family income increased. The relationship between age and performance on the symbol-digit substitution test varied by education level and by racial-ethnic group. The relationship between age and performance on the serial digit learning test varied by racial-ethnic group. Questionnaire variables that were related to performance on one or more of the tests included the reported amount of last night's sleep, energy level, computer or video game familiarity, alcoholic beverages within the last 3 h and effort. Persons who took the tests in English or Spanish performed differently on the symbol-digit substitution and serial digit learning tests. Performance on all the tests decreased as test room temperature increased.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans
  • Age Distribution
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexican Americans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual
  • Psychomotor Performance*
  • Reaction Time
  • Serial Learning
  • Sex Distribution
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States