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ASSESSING EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS IN OLDER ADULTS: A COMPARISON BETWEEN THE MANUAL AND THE COMPUTER- BASED VERSIONS OF THE WISCONSIN CARD SORTING TEST

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Author(s): Gabriela Peretti Wagner, Clarissa Marceli Trentini

Journal: Psychology & Neuroscience
ISSN 1984-3054

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Wisconsin Card Sorting Test | Executive Functions | Aging.

ABSTRACT
Executive functions (EF) are a group of high-level cognitive processes that control and direct lower-level abilities in order to produce the goal-directed behaviour. Because these functions are a multidimensional entity they can be assessed using different tests. One of the tests often used to evaluate EF is the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). The WCST is a task that involves hypothesis testing, identification of concepts, resistance to interference, switching categories and inhibiting. Two versions of the task have been used in neuropsychological testing, but little is known about their equivalence. In this study, we investigated the performance of two groups of elderly in two versions of the task, a manual (with cards) and a computer-based. 54 healthy elderly participants took part in this study; half of the sample was assessed with the computer- based version of WCST, while the other half performed the manual one. There were no differences between the two versions of the task in our sample of elderly participants (total number correct, perseverative errors, percent conceptual level responses, and number of categories completed). In this sense, we believe that we provided evidences for the equivalence of both versions when assessing EF in healthy elderly participants.
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