Symposium: Measuring Human Memory with Standardized and Non-standardized Tests

"You Invented the Wheel – Do You Have to Keep Reinventing It?"

Organizer: Robert E. Hampson, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, USA

Clinical studies in human memory and behavior rely on standardized, validated tests for consistency and interpretability of results.  Assessments such as Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE), Wisconsin Card Sort, Iowa Gambling Task,  and Psychomotor Vigilance Task (PVT) are commonly used, and easy to compare results.  However, they don’t always provide the tools for analyzing complex memory and behavior.  Complex tasks such as Ruff-Light Trails Task (RuLiT) yield considerable insight into problem solving, while Delayed Match to Sample (DMS), Delayed Recognition (DR) and DMS-DR combinations are better at parsing durability of memory.  However, these nonstandardized tests are considered such because performance is highly variable across subjects and are subject to variability with repeated application.

The speakers will discuss tools and assessments used in their research in human cognition, as well as why they choose to use standardized or nonstandardized tests tailored to the memory and/or behavior they study.