Use of computerized test batteries for quantifying neurobehavioral outcomes

Environ Health Perspect. 1991 Jan:90:195-8. doi: 10.1289/ehp.90-1519520.


Neurobehavioral testing provides for noninvasive assessment of the functional integrity of the nervous system. Neurobehavioral tests have been used as quantitative outcome measures in a number of epidemiologic investigations of the potential effects on the nervous system from exposure to organic solvents, heavy metals, and pesticides. Because of the functional complexity of the nervous system, sets of tests assessing a range of functions have been used, with inconsistency from one study to another. Although there has been recent progress in standardizing a core set of tests for use in occupational epidemiology, major consensus on testing methods has not emerged. Standardization of test methods is essential to provide a consistent database for risk analysis. Automation of data collection provides not only standardization, but also improved time efficiency, of data collection and analysis. The computerized Neurobehavioral Evaluation System (NES) has been developed to address the need for standardized, efficient data acquisition of a range of neurobehavioral variables. Examples of application of NES in epidemiologic studies of workers exposed to solvents are summarized. The need for use of NES as a tool for surveillance and in prospective epidemiologic investigations is emphasized.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Behavior / drug effects
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Electronic Data Processing
  • Environmental Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Nervous System / drug effects*
  • Neuropsychological Tests / methods*


  • Environmental Pollutants