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Computerized Test of Attentional Performance (TAP 2.3) - Alertness subtest
Please visit this website for more information about the instrument: Computerized Test of Attentional Performance – Alertness subtest.
Exploratory: Unruptured Cerebral Aneurysms and Subarachnoid Hemorrhage (SAH)
Short Description of Instrument
The Test of Attentional Performance is used to evaluate the effectiveness of behavior in everyday activities. Inattentiveness can lead to not noticing important information and difficulties in recalling specific details.
"Alertness" refers to the condition of general wakefulness that enables a person to respond quickly and appropriately to any given demand. It is the pre-requisite for effective behaviour, and is in this respect the basis of every attention performance.
In this test, reaction time is examined under two conditions. The first condition concerns simple reaction time measurements, in which a cross appears on the monitor at randomly varying intervals and to which the subject should respond as quickly as possible by pressing a key. Intrinsic alertness is measured in this condition. In the second condition, reaction time is measured in response to a critical stimulus preceded by a cue stimulus presented as a warning tone ("phasic arousal", or temporal orientation of attentional focus).
To compensate for effects of fatigue the test is constructed according to an ABBA design (A = without warning tone; B = with warning tone), that is, the examination comprises four blocks." (PsyTest)
Comments/Special Instructions
The test battery has been used among healthy adults as well as in a wide range of different clinical samples. The different versions of the test battery are available in German, English, French, Italian, partly in Spanish, Dutch, Danish, Swedish and Finnish.
Execution time: approx. 4.5 minutes (depending on reaction time)

Outcome variables are percentiles of median and standard deviation of the reaction times for both conditions (= T-score without stimulus; T-score with stimulus).


The Computerized Test of Attentional Performance with its subtest alertness is quick and simple to perform. The available normative data covers broadly the typical age range of patients with SAH. It is available in multiple languages. For these reasons, the Swiss national standard of neuropsychological assessment after SAH includes the Computerized Test of Attentional Performance with its subtest alertness. The test has successfully been used in SAH research before (see references).

Bellebaum C, Sch?fers L, Schoch B, Wanke I, Stolke D, Forsting M, Daum I. Clipping versus coiling: neuropsychological follow up after aneurismal subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH). J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2004;26(8):1081-1092.
BÖttger S, Prosiegel M, Steiger HJ, Yassouridis A. Neurobehavioural disturbances, rehabilitation outcome, and lesion site in patients after rupture and repair of anterior communicating artery aneurysm. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1998;65(1):93-102.
Hütter BO, Kreitschmann-Andermahr I, Gilsbach JM. Cognitive deficits in the acute stage after subarachnoid hemorrhage. Neurosurgery. 1998;43(5):1054-1065.
Hütter BO, Gilsbach JM. Early neuropsychological sequelae of aneurysm surgery and subarachnoid haemorrhage. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 1996;138(12):1370-1378;discussion 1378-1379.
Stienen MN, Smoll NR, Weisshaupt R, Fandino J, Hildebrandt G, Studerus-Germann A, Schatlo B. Delayed cerebral ischemia predicts neurocognitive impairment following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. World Neurosurg. 2014;82(5):e599-e605.
Stienen MN, Zweifel-Zehnder AE, Chicherio M, Studerus-Germann A, Bl?si S, Rossi S, Gutbrod K, Schmid N, Beaud V, Mondadori C, Brugger P, Sacco L, Müri R, Hildebrandt G, Keller E, Regli L, Fandino J, Mariani L, Raabe A, Daniel RT, Reinert M, Robert R, Schatlo B, Bijlenga P, Schaller K, Monsch AU, on behalf of the Swiss SOS study group. Neuropsychological testing after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Swiss Medical Forum. 2015;15(48):1122-1127.
Zimmermann, P. & Fimm, B. (1992). Testbatterie zur Aufmerksamkeitsprüfung. Freiburg: Psytest.
Zweifel-Zehnder AE, Stienen MN, Chicherio C, Studerus-Germann A, Bl?si S, Rossi S, Gutbrod K, Schmid N, Beaud V, Mondadori C, Brugger P, Sacco L, Müri R, Hildebrandt G, Fournier JY, Keller E, Regli L, Fandino J, Mariani L, Raabe A, Daniel RT, Reinert M, Robert T, Schatlo B, Bijlenga P, Schaller K, Monsch AU; Swiss SOS study group. Call for uniform neuropsychological assessment after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage: Swiss recommendations. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2015;157(9):1449-1458.


Document last updated July 2019