The Neuropsychological Assessment of Cognitive Deficits Considering Measures of Performance Variability

Tanner-Eggen, Céline; Balzer, Christian; Perrig, Walter J.; Gutbrod, Klemens (2015). The Neuropsychological Assessment of Cognitive Deficits Considering Measures of Performance Variability. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 30(3), pp. 217-227. Oxford University Press 10.1093/arclin/acv008

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Neuropsychologists often face interpretational difficulties when assessing cognitive deficits, particularly in cases of unclear cerebral etiology. How can we be sure whether a single test score below the population average is indicative of a pathological brain condition or normal? In the past few years, the topic of intra-individual performance variability has gained great interest. On the basis of a large normative sample, two measures of performance variability and their importance for neuropsychological interpretation will be presented in this paper: the number of low scores and the level of dispersion.We conclude that low scores are common in healthy individuals. On the other hand, the level of dispersion is relatively small. Here, base rate information about abnormally low scores and abnormally high dispersion across cognitive abilities are providedto improve the awareness of normal variability and to serve clinicians as additional interpretive measures in the diagnostic process.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > DCR Unit Sahli Building > Forschungsgruppe Neurologie
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Psychological and Behavioral Health

UniBE Contributor:

Perrig, Walter and Gutbrod, Klemens


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology




Oxford University Press




Anna Maria Ruprecht Künzli

Date Deposited:

05 Aug 2015 08:34

Last Modified:

26 Oct 2019 00:28

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Base rates; Dispersion; Low scores; Neuropsychological assessment; Normal variability




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