The NIH Toolbox Pattern Comparison Processing Speed Test: Normative Data

Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2015 Aug;30(5):359-68. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acv031. Epub 2015 May 29.


The NIH Toolbox Pattern Comparison Processing Speed Test was developed to assess processing speed. While initial validation work provides preliminary support for this test in both children and adults, more work is needed to ensure dependability and generalizability. Thus, this replication study examines descriptive data (including age effects), test-retest reliability, and construct validity in n = 4,859 participants ages 3-85 years (matched to 2010 census data). Although the Pattern Comparison was not appropriate for all 3 and 4 years old, by ages 5 and 6, more meaningful scores were apparent. There was evidence for convergent and discriminant validity. There was also a moderate practice effect (i.e., increase of 5.5 points) over a 1-week time frame. Pattern Comparison exhibits a number of strengths: it is appropriate for use across the lifespan (ages 5-85), it is short and easy to administer, and there is support for construct validity.

Keywords: Cognition; NIH Toolbox; Neuropsychological assessment; Pattern Comparison Processing Speed Test; Processing speed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests / standards*
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
  • Practice, Psychological
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Reaction Time
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Young Adult