The structure of normal human attention: The Test of Everyday Attention

J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 1996 Nov;2(6):525-34. doi: 10.1017/s1355617700001697.


A range of tests of everyday attention is described, based on ecologically plausible activities such as searching maps, looking through telephone directories, and listening to lottery number broadcasts. An age-, sex- and IQ-stratified sample of 154 normal participants was given these tests, along with a number of existing tests of attention. The factor structure revealed by this data set matched well contemporary evidence for a set of functionally independent attentional circuits in the brain, and included factors for sustained attention, selective attention, attentional switching and auditory-verbal working memory. The Test of Everyday Attention (TEA), which was developed and standardized on the basis of these subtests, has three parallel forms, high test-retest reliability, and correlates significantly with existing measures of attention. Furthermore, selected subtests successfully discriminate among a number of brain-impaired groups, including closed head injury versus age-matched controls, minimal versus mild Alzheimer's disease, and progressive supranuclear palsy patients versus age-matched controls.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attention*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data*
  • Problem Solving
  • Psychometrics
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Speech Perception
  • Visual Perception