Computerized Cognitive Assessment

Guiding decision-making for safety and efficacy across indications and clinical trial phases.

Cogstate’s sensitive, rapid, and reliable computerized cognitive tests give clinical trial leaders valuable insight into study outcomes.

Each Cogstate test provides valid measurement of distinct cognitive functions. Tests are culture-neutral, not limited by a subject’s level of education, and designed for repeated administration, making them ideal for use in clinical trials.

Our tests dramatically increase the sensitivity and specificity of the measurement of human cognitive processes and can detect subtle drug related changes in cognition, as demonstrated in hundreds of scientific publications.

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Cogstate tests withstand the numerous operational challenges of conducting clinical trials, including...

Repeated administration with minimal practice or learning effects.

Working with sites in countries or cultures with limited experience with cognitive testing.

Protocol schedules where there is often limited time available for assessment.

Novel stimuli to ensure assessment is culture-neutral and not limited by education.

Explore Our Cognitive Tests

Cogstate tests, each designed to measure a specific area of cognition, are grouped together to form customized batteries based on the unique requirements of the study design and population. Learn more about our different tests and how they can support the unique needs of your study by exploring the details and demos below.

Behavioral Pattern Separation Object Test

Cognitive Domain: Memory

Administration Time: 4 Minutes (for healthy participants)

Outcome Measures: BPSO Metric, which is the probability of a “Similar” response to a “Distractor” minus the probability of a “Similar” response to a “Foil”.


“Indoor or Outdoor”


Test Description

The Behavioral Pattern Separation Object test measures recognition memory using photos of objects. The participant is presented with a series of photos of common objects and must decide whether each object is used indoors or outdoors. The participant is then presented with a photo of an object and must recall whether the object is the same, similar or different to the photos they have already been shown.

Continuous Paired Associate Learning Test

Cognitive Domain: Paired Associate Learning

Administration Time: 7 Minutes (for healthy participants)

Outcome Measures: Total number of errors across the seven rounds in the test.


“In what locations do these pictures belong?”


Test Description

The Continuous Paired Associate Learning test measures visual memory using a paired associative learning paradigm. In this test, the participant must learn and remember the pictures hidden beneath different locations on the screen. In the first stage of the test the pre-test on-screen instructions ask: “In what locations do these pictures belong”. A picture is presented in the centre of the screen. The participant taps the peripheral location of the picture and must remember its location. During the second stage of the test the same pictures are presented in the centre of the screen, however the peripheral location of each picture is hidden. The participant must tap on the peripheral location where the picture previously appeared.

The Continuous Paired Associate Learning Test is also available in a “Delayed Recall” version, which measures memory.

Detection Test

Cognitive Domain: Psychomotor Function

Administration Time: 3 Minutes (for healthy participants)

Outcome Measures: Speed of performance (mean of the log10 transformed reaction times for correct responses).


“Has the card turned over?”


Test Description

The Detection test measures processing speed using a simple reaction time paradigm. The on-screen instructions ask: “Has the card turned over?”. A playing card is presented face down in the center of the screen. The card flips over so it is face up. As soon as the card flips over the participant must press “Yes”. The participant is encouraged to work as quickly as they can and be as accurate as possible.

Face Name Associative Memory Exam

Cognitive Domain: Memory

Administration Time: 4 Minutes (for healthy participants)

Outcome Measures: Total number of correct responses made during each individual sub-test.


“Can you remember the Face-Name pair?”


Test Description

The Face Name Associative Memory Exam measures associative memory using photos of real-life faces. The participant is presented with a series of facial photos and names, with each face paired with a name. The participant must remember the face-name pair.

Finger Tapping Test

Domain: Upper Limb Motor Function

Administration Time: 2 Minutes

Outcome Measures: Performance is measured by calculating the total number of taps on the target during each round.


“Tap the circle as quickly as you can”


Test Description

The Finger Tapping Test is a test of upper limb motor function that provides a measure of the speed at which a subject can repeatedly tap a target on the screen for a predefined time period. The test is designed to be administered on a touchscreen device. The subject is asked to use their index finger to tap a stationary target presented on screen as many times as they can until each round ends, with each round alternating between using the right hand and left hand. Performance is measured by calculating the total number of taps on the target during each round. Outcomes are computed for each individual round, rounds for each hand, and all rounds combined.

Go No-Go Test

Cognitive Domain: Response Inhibition (Executive Function)

Administration Time: 4 Minutes (for healthy participants)

Outcome Measures: Speed of performance (mean of the log10 transformed reaction times for correct responses).

Test Description

The Go-No Go Test is a measure of response inhibition and uses a well-validated recognition reaction time paradigm with playing card stimuli. In this test, the playing cards are all either red or black jokers. The subject is asked whether the card displayed in the center of the screen is black. The subject is to press the Yes key when the joker card is black and to withhold a response (i.e., not respond) when it is red.

Groton Maze Learning Test

Cognitive Domain: Executive Function

Administration Time: 7 Minutes (for healthy participants)

Outcome Measures: Total number of errors made in attempting to learn the same hidden pathway on five consecutive trials during a single session.


“Find the hidden pathway”


Test Description

The Groton Maze Learning Test measures executive function using a maze learning paradigm. A 10 x 10 grid of tiles is presented to the participant on the screen. A 28-step pathway is hidden among these tiles. A blue tile indicates the start and a tile with red circles indicates the finish. The participant must move one step at a time from the start toward the end by touching a tile next to their current location. If the correct move is made a green checkmark appears and if the move is incorrect a red cross is revealed. Once completed, they are returned to the start location to repeat the test and must try to remember the pathway they have just completed.

The Groton Maze Learning Test is also available in a “Delayed Recall” version, which measures visual memory and a “Delayed Reverse Recall” version, which measures spatial working memory.

Identification Test

Cognitive Domain: Attention

Administration Time: 3 Minutes (for healthy participants)

Outcome Measures: Speed of performance (mean of the log10 transformed reaction times for correct responses).


“Is the card red?”


Test description

The Identification test measures attention using a choice reaction time paradigm. The on-screen instructions ask: “Is the card red?”. A playing card is presented face down in the center of the screen. The card flips over so it is face up. As soon as it flips over the participant must decide whether the card is red or not. If it is red the participant should press “Yes”, and if it is not red the participant should press “No”. The participant is encouraged to work as quickly as they can and be as accurate as possible.

International Daily Symbol Substitution Test - Medicines

Cognitive Domain: Processing Speed

Administration Time: 3 Minutes

Outcome Measures: Total number of correct responses in matching the medicines with the appropriate dates.


“Select the matching medicine for the date”


Test Description

The International Daily Symbol Substitution Test – Medicines is a continuous performance test and a well-validated measure of processing speed. In this test, a key is provided at the top of the screen pairing nine medicines with a date (FEB 1, FEB 2, FEB 3, FEB 4, FEB 5, FEB 6, FEB 7, FEB 8 and FEB 9). Each medicine has a unique shape and color and corresponds to a different date (e.g., a round red tablet may be allocated to FEB 3). In the middle of the screen, an empty pill box labelled with a date is presented and the subject is asked to select the medicine that corresponds to that date, as per the key at the top of the screen (e.g., if FEB 3 is the label on the empty box in the middle of the screen, the subject should select the red tablet). The four previous and four upcoming trials are also displayed either side of the current trial. The software records each selection as a correct or incorrect response, and once a response is made it cannot be changed. The medicines are randomly selected from a repository of 100 stimuli, therefore multiple administrations with new date/medicine pairs are possible.

International Digit Symbol Substitution Test - Symbols

Cognitive Domain: Processing Speed

Administration Time: 3 Minutes

Outcome Measures: Total number of correct responses in matching the symbols with the appropriate digits.


“Select the matching symbol for the number”


Test Description

The International Digit Symbol Substitution Test – Symbols is a processing speed test that is based on the pre-existing pencil and paper version of the Digit Symbol Substitution Test. In this test, subjects are presented with a legend that defines nine symbols, with each symbol corresponding to a digit from 1 to 9. The subject is then presented with a conveyer belt in the middle of the screen that displays a series of empty boxes labelled with a number. The subject must select the symbol that corresponds to the number of a given highlighted box from symbol options presented at the bottom of the screen. The subject must try to place as many correct symbols in the boxes as possible over the duration of the test.

International Shopping List Test

Cognitive Domain: Verbal Learning

Administration Time: 5 Minutes (for healthy participants)

Outcome Measures: Total number of correct responses made in remembering the list on three consecutive trials at a single session.


“Tell me as many of the items on the shopping list as you can remember?”

For the International Shopping List Test, the tablet is held by the test administrator and the screen is not visible to the test participant.


Test Description

The International Shopping List Test measures verbal learning using a word list learning paradigm. The participant is read a shopping list and must remember and recall as many items from the list as possible.

The International Shopping List Test is also available in a “Delayed Recall” version, which measures verbal memory and a “Recognition” version, which measures memory.

One Back Test

Cognitive Domain: Working Memory

Administration Time: 4 Minutes (for healthy participants)

Outcome Measures: Speed of performance (mean of the log10 transformed reaction times for correct responses); Accuracy of performance (arcsine transformation of the square root of the proportion of correct responses).


“Is the previous card the same?”


Test Description

The One Back test measures working memory using an n-back paradigm. The on-screen instructions ask: “Is the previous card the same?”. A playing card is presented face up in the center of the screen. The participant must decide whether the card is the same as the previous card. If the card is the same the participant should press “Yes”, and if it is not the same the participant should press “No”. The participant is encouraged to work as quickly as they can and be as accurate as possible.

One Card Learning Test

Cognitive Domain: Visual Learning

Administration Time: 6 Minutes (for healthy participants)

Outcome Measures: Accuracy of performance (arcsine transformation of the square root of the proportion of correct responses).


“Have you seen this card before?”


Test Description

The One Card Learning test measures visual memory using a pattern separation paradigm. The on-screen instructions ask: “Have you seen this card before in this test?”. A playing card is presented face up in the center of the screen and the participant must decide whether they have seen the card before in this test. The participant is encouraged to work as quickly as they can and be as accurate as possible.

Set-Shifting Test

Cognitive Domain: Set Shifting (Executive Function)

Administration Time: 7 Minutes (for healthy participants)

Outcome Measures: Total number of errors made during the test.

Test Description

The Set-Shifting test uses a set shifting paradigm to measure executive function. The on-screen instructions ask: “Is this a target card?”. A playing card is presented face up in the center of the screen with the word “Number” or “Color” above it. If the word is “Color” the participant must guess whether the target card is black or red. If the word is “Number” the participant must guess whether the current number displayed on the card is correct. At the beginning of the test, the participant simply needs to guess whether the current card is the target card. If they think the card is the target card, the participant should press “Yes”. If they think the card is not the target card, they must press “No”. As the participant makes their guesses, feedback is provided and the next card is not displayed until a correct response has been made. Once the participant has made their way through a set of cards the hidden rule changes (e.g., from one color to the other color [intra-dimensional shift], or from color to number [extra-dimensional shift]). The participant is not told when these set-shifts occur, and they must learn the new target rule to proceed through the test. The participant is encouraged to work as quickly as they can and be as accurate as possible.

Social-Emotional Cognition Test

Cognitive Domain: Emotional Recognition

Administration Time: 6 Minutes (for healthy participants)

Outcome Measures: Accuracy of performance (arcsine transformation of the square root of the proportion of correct responses).


“Tap the odd one out”


Test Description

The Social-Emotional Cognition Test measures emotional recognition using an odd-man out paradigm. The on-screen instructions ask: “Tap the odd one out”. Four pictures are presented on the screen. One of these pictures will be different to the others and the participant must decide which picture is different and tap that picture. The participant is encouraged to work as quickly as they can and be as accurate as possible.

Sustained Attention Test

Cognitive Domain: Sustained Attention

Administration Time: 11 Minutes

Outcome Measures: The primary outcome measure on this test is the SAT Score. This is a custom outcome that provides a measure of performance accuracy across both signal and non-signal trials.


“Has the grey square appeared on the screen?”


Test Description

The Sustained Attention Test is a measure of sustained attention that uses a signal detection paradigm. The subject indicates whether a small grey square has been presented on screen. The subject responds by pressing the Yes key when the grey square has been presented and No when it is not presented. A distractor condition (dSAT) is present in certain rounds, where the screen background flashes at a rapid rate and thereby makes it more difficult to determine whether the grey square has been presented.

Two Back Test

Cognitive Domain: Working Memory

Administration Time: 4 Minutes (for healthy participants)

Outcome Measures: Accuracy of performance (arcsine transformation of the square root of the proportion of correct responses).


“Is the card the same as that shown two cards ago?”


Test Description

The Two Back test measures working memory using an n-back paradigm. The on-screen instructions ask: “Is the card the same as that shown two cards ago?”. A playing card is presented face up in the center of the screen. The participant must decide whether the card is the same as the card shown two cards previously. If the card is the same the participant should press “Yes”, and if it is not the same the participant should press “No”. The participant is encouraged to work as quickly as they can and be as accurate as possible.

The Benefits of Computerized Tests

Computerized cognitive testing can replace costly and error-prone paper assessments with real-time data capture. Cogstate tests can be rapidly set-up across all sites in a matter of weeks, and importantly, tests do not require expert neuropsychologist raters, which simplifies test administration. Other advantages of our computerized testing include:

Objective and standardized administration with automated scoring

Demonstrated sensitivity to drug-related change in various indications

High usability and acceptability to participants

Brief and repeatable assessments that are unaffected by language or culture

Translations in more than 90 languages

Online training and exceptional operational support

Full-Service Solution for Clinical Trials

Scientific Consulting

Custom batteries with expert input based on your objectives, study design and population.

Training and Certification

Remote, study-specific site training and certification program ensures higher quality and lower inter-rater variability.

Project Management

Dedicated project managers with science backgrounds to efficiently drive all study activities from kick-off to final report delivery.

Data Management and Review

Secure online portal, DataPoint®, enables efficient data collection and storage for ongoing review of data quality by our expert data management team.

Statistical Analysis

Our statisticians and cognitive experts customize analysis plans with careful consideration of the study objectives, design and execution.

Regulatory Support

Full support from the development of regulatory submissions that involve cognition to preparation and attendance at meetings with regulatory authorities.

Regulatory Submissions

Attendance at meetings relevant to regulatory submissions

Talk with Our Team!

Reach out to our science and operational experts to learn more about how we support clinical trial teams.

Regulatory Compliant

The Cogstate system meets all relevant regulatory requirements for security and integrity of data in clinical trials, including 21 CFR Part 11.

The support procedures meet GCP guidelines.

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