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Attention Test CAPT
(Psychometric Test - Attention - CAPT)


Equipment required          Cost


Attention Test CAPT (computerized attention processes test): The CAPT is a psychometric test evaluating sustained attention with a continuous performance task, selective attention, shared attention, reaction time and the control of attention. This test is intended to assess certain components essential to clinical evaluation, of the theoretical model called the Attentional system. They are presented in association with these components. The Attentional system is comprised of two major dimensions, intensity and selectivity, within which fall the various types of attention (Sturm, 1999). The first dimension, which relates to intensity, groups together the quantitative aspects of attention (Alertness, Vigilance, Sustained attention or concentration). The second groups together the selective aspects (Selective or focal attention, Selective visuo-spatial attention, Divided or shared attention, Alternating attention) (Laporte et al., 2003). These two dimensions are dependent upon the supervisory attentional control.

The definitions of the different attentional processes assessed are provided in the "Theoretical and conceptual framework" section of the test manual. Two specific sub-tests, one in visual mode and the other in auditory mode, evaluate, except for selective attention, each attentional process assessed by the CAPT, what constitutes one more innovative aspect of this material.

Between 3 to 8 minutes are allocated to the completion of one or another subtest. For each of the sub-tests, specific instructions appear on the screen and are also provided orally over the headphones or computer speakers. These instructions are followed by an example that must necessarily be successfully completed before the sub-test can be completed.

The scoring of sub-tests is automatic and the results are immediately available upon test completion. The Raw score for each sub-test is obtained by taking into account the number of correct responses and the time taken to provide each of these correct responses (response latency); as such, the CAPT takes into account the "quality of response / response latency" interaction. Moreover, a correcting measure is applied to take into account the number of commission errors.

Sub-tests:

Phasic alertness
     Reaction time – visual mode
     Reaction time – auditory mode
Sustained attention
     Sustained attention – visual mode
     Sustained attention – auditory mode
Selective (focal) attention
     Selective attention – visual mode
Divided (shared) attention
     Divided attention – visual and auditory mode
     Divided attention – visual mode
Attentional control
     Attentional control – visual mode
     Attentional control – auditory mode

Normalizarion: The CAPT 1.0 normalization sample consists of 1302 subjects from Canada (Quebec and Calgary), France (Périgueux-Bordeaux region) and Mexico (Mexico City and Merida). The French version TIFA was used in Quebec and France, the Spanish version EFA in Mexico, and the English version CAPT in the Calgary region. These regions constitute different cultural settings. The data was gathered among elementary school students - from first to sixth grade (in France, CP – CM2 primary + 6th secondary).

Recommended use: For people of 6 years of age and more.

Equipment required: A PC or PC compatible microcomputer with a Pentium III processor; 32 M octets of live memory, a graphics card with at least 4 M octets of memory, a colour screen enabling a resolution of 800 x 600, a standard CD ROM drive, a hard drive with at least 55 M octets of free space, Windows software (98, NT4 or more recent), a computer mouse, a sound card and two speakers (the use of earphones is encouraged when the testing takes place in a group), and a printer to print the results. The CAPT must be installed on a hard drive.

Licence: The licence is associated with an authorized professional. He or she has to be identified on the request.

Cost: 95.00 $ CAD for a licence and 10.00 $ CAD / each test session.

 

Phasic alertness

Reaction time – visual mode

Task : An empty square (black border, white centre) appears in the middle of the screen (grey background). This square turns red at variable time intervals. Just before the square turns red, a sound signal (a beep) is heard in order to prepare the subject to respond. The subject must press the space bar as quickly as possible when the square turns red.

Number of target stimuli : 16

Duration : 3 minutes.

Reaction time – auditory mode

Task : The target stimulus is a sound signal (a beep). Just before this beep is presented, a visual signal (a black star on a grey background) appears in order to prepare the subject to respond. The task consists of pressing the space bar as quickly as possible when the beep is heard.

Number of target stimuli : 16

Duration : 3 minutes.

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Sustained attention

Sustained attention - visual mode

Task : A radar monitor, made up of six fluorescent green concentric circles, is presented on the screen. A greed dot appears in the outer circle and successively moves from one circle to the next in a straight line, simulating the presence of an object detected by the radar. While moving across the radar screen, the green dot sometimes skips one or two circles. The subject must press the space bar as quickly as possible whenever he/she detects such omissions.

Number of target stimuli : 22

Duration : 8 minutes.

Sustained attention – auditory mode

Task : On the screen, a person wearing earphones is seen from behind. This person is standing in front of a sound console. A series of single beeps makes up the soundtrack. The target sound (three consecutive beeps) and distracter sound (two consecutive beeps) are introduced to the soundtrack. The subject must press the space bar as quickly as possible whenever he/she hears the target sound.

Number of target stimuli : 26

Duration : 8 minutes.

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Selective (focal) attention

Selective attention – visual mode

Task : On the screen, a matrix of nine stimuli (flags) is presented on a single colour background. Above this matrix is the target flag. The nine flags in the matrix constantly change. The subject must press the space bar as quickly as possible whenever the target flag appears among the nine flags in the matrix.

Number of target stimuli : 20

Duration : 3 minutes.

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Divided (shared) attention

Divided attention – visual and auditory mode

Task : The sub-test involves two tasks that must be completed simultaneously.

  1. The first task is presented in the left half of the screen where the image of the sound console used in sustained attention (auditory mode) is presented. The target sounds (two consecutive beeps) are presented among a soundtrack of repetitive single beeps. Whenever the two beeps are heard, the subject must press the space bar as quickly as possible.
  2. The second task is presented in the right half of the screen where three flags are presented. A target flag, appearing above the two other flags, must be detected among the two lower flags, which constantly and randomly change. Whenever the target flag appears among the two lower flags, the subject must press the space bar as quickly as possible.

Number of target stimuli : 27

Duration : 3 minutes.

Divided attention – visual mode

Task : This sub-test involves two tasks that must be completed simultaneously.

  1. The first task is represented in the left half of the screen. Here, presented horizontally on a single colour background, are three constantly changing flags (stimuli identical to those used in the selective attention – visual mode and divided attention – visual/auditory mode tasks). The subject must press the space bar as quickly as possible whenever he/she detects two identical flags among the three presented.
  2. The second task is a reaction time with decision-making task, which is presented in the right half of the screen. Two collared squares appear, presented one above the other. The target colour appears in the upper square. The lower square constantly and randomly changes. Whenever the lower square becomes the same colour as the upper square, the subject must press the space bar as quickly as possible.

Number of target stimuli : 25

Duration : 3 minutes.

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Attentional control

Attentional control – visual mode

Task : On a single coloured background, the sub-test presents three tasks that must be completed simultaneously :

  1. A counter, made up of five boxes, contains numbers ranging from 0 to 9. These numbers change two at a time. An independent box to the left of the counter presents a target number that must be detected among the numbers in the counter. This target, which changes throughout the task, is presented during a short lapse of time and then disappears. The subject must therefore keep the target number in mind.
  2. For the second task, there is an identical counter situated below the first, but which contains simple figures. An independent box to the left of the counter presents a target figure that must be detected among the figures in the counter. This target, which changes throughout the task, is presented during a short lapse of time and then disappears. The subject must therefore keep the target figure in mind.
  3. On the right hand side of the screen, there is an illustration of a thermometer whose mercury can attain different levels. A yellow arrow next to it indicates the target level. This arrow changes position throughout the task, but remains present on the screen.

Any change in target, for any of the three tasks, is accompanied by a sound signal (a beep). The subject must press the space bar as quickly as possible whenever he/she detects the target number or figure within its respective counter. He/she must also press the space bar as quickly as possible whenever the mercury (red in colour) attains the level indicated by the yellow arrow. Note that during this task, the targets cannot appear simultaneously.

Number of target stimuli : 30

Duration : 5 minutes.

Attentional control – auditory mode

Task : This sub-test involves two auditory tasks that must be completed at the same time.

  1. The first task is represented by a sound console (found in the sustained and divided attention tasks) in the left half of the screen. A yellow light bulb appears at intervals on this side of the screen to designate the target sound associated with this task (either two or three beeps) and then disappears. A soundtrack containing a series of single beeps is heard between the two different types of target sounds. The light bulb reappears on the left half of the screen to signal a change in the target sound. The subject must be attentive to this new target in order to recognize it when it is heard.
  2. The second task is represented by a forest in the right half of the screen. This task is identical to the first, except that the sound stimuli are animal noises. The two target sounds (the wolf’s howl and a lion’s roar) alternate and are accompanied by a light bulb appearing on the right half of the screen when there is a change in the target stimulus.

The subject must press the space bar as quickly as possible whenever he/she hears one of the target sounds (a series of beeps and an animal noise) that have been previously identified by the appearance of the light bulb on one or the other screen halves. The targets can change at any time, so the subject must memorize them in order to detect them. Note that during this task, the two target sounds cannot occur simultaneously.

Number of target stimuli : 20

Duration : 5 minutes.

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