The Corsi block-tapping task: methodological and theoretical considerations

Brain Cogn. 1998 Dec;38(3):317-38. doi: 10.1006/brcg.1998.1039.


The Corsi block-tapping task has enjoyed extensive use in clinical and experimental studies for a quarter of a century and is arguably the single most important nonverbal task in neuropsychological research. Nevertheless, there has been considerable inconsistency not only in the administration and scoring of this measure, but also in the physical properties of the test apparatus. In this paper, we survey a wide range of studies that have made use of the block-tapping task during the past 25 years and provide a detailed appraisal of the manifold methodological variations. Additionally, we discuss the historical context in which the Corsi originated and offer a critical examination of the cognitive processing operations purported to underlie performance on this task.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Memory / physiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Space Perception / physiology*