Cognitive Domain: Set Shifting (Executive Function)
Administration Time: 7 Minutes (for healthy participants)
Outcome Measures: Total number of errors made during the test.
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.