Reliability and validity of a computerized neurocognitive test battery, CNS Vital Signs

Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2006 Oct;21(7):623-43. doi: 10.1016/j.acn.2006.05.007. Epub 2006 Oct 2.


CNS Vital Signs (CNSVS) is a computerized neurocognitive test battery that was developed as a routine clinical screening instrument. It is comprised of seven tests: verbal and visual memory, finger tapping, symbol digit coding, the Stroop Test, a test of shifting attention and the continuous performance test. Because CNSVS is a battery of well-known neuropsychological tests, one should expect its psychometric properties to resemble those of the conventional tests upon which it is based. 1069 subjects age 7-90 participated in the normative database for CNSVS. Test-retest reliability (TRT) was evaluated in 99 Ss who took the battery on two separate occasions, separated, on the average, by 62 days; the results were comparable to those achieved by equivalent conventional and computerized tests. Concurrent validity studies in 180 subjects, normals and neuropsychiatric patients, indicate correlations that are comparable to the concurrent validity of similar tests. Discriminant validity is supported by studies of patients with mild cognitive impairment and dementia, post-concussion syndrome and severe traumatic brain injury, ADHD (treated and untreated) and depression (treated and untreated). The tests in CNSVS are also sensitive to malingerers and patients with conversion disorders. The psychometric characteristics of the tests in the CNSVS battery are very similar to the characteristics of the conventional neuropsychological tests upon which they are based. CNSVS is suitable for use as a screening instrument, or as a serial assessment measure. But it is not a substitute for formal neuropsychological testing, it is not diagnostic, and it will have only a limited role in the medical setting, absent the active participation of consulting neuropsychologists.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Processes / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data*
  • Numerical Analysis, Computer-Assisted*
  • Psychometrics
  • Psychotic Disorders / physiopathology
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results