5 CPT Programs We Like

Updated: Feb 25, 2021


continuous performance task illustration attention test tova moxo

What is a CPT?

At first glance, it looks like a pretty boring game. You have to press a key as soon you see the right cue. An example of what the “game” may look like: a screen shows red dots or blue dots, one color at any given time, and you have to respond quickly whenever the red dot (the cue) appears. Pretty straightforward, pretty uneventful.

But the thing about CPT is that, despite its simplicity, it can reveal a lot about a person’s inattention, inhibition, and impulsivity. For example, a kid who’s very impulsive would make many errors, such as pressing the key when they shouldn’t have, mainly because they wanted to show a fast reaction. If you take a moment to think about it, you can recall moments from your everyday life where impulsive behaviors occur, even during the most mundane of tasks. CPTs help shed light on these types of behaviors through the results of the test and they also provide the expert conducting the CPT with the ability to pinpoint if there’s an issue.

Why is it Used?

Mental health professionals use many tools to assess their clients and to monitor their progress over time. Most of these tools are subjective and rely on questionnaires that are usually filled by the clients or their parents. However, it is important to also include objective measures that cannot be skewed by one’s subjective biases. That is why CPTs are considered a good objective measurement tool when it comes to assessing inattention, impulsivity, and inhibition.

tova attention test continuous performance task cpt

What are the commonly used CPTs out there?

Below is a list of tools frequently used by clinicians to assess their clients’ progress over the course of their mental health program.

1. TOVA

Audience: Ages 4+

Test Duration: 21.6 minutes

Administration: Computer-based

One of the most commonly used CPTs, the TOVA is utilized both as a diagnostic aid and to monitor treatment efficacy for attention deficits by providing objective measures of attention and inhibitory control. It measures response time, variability (in response time), and accuracy in terms of commission and omission errors.

Three age-specific versions are available: pre-school age, school age, and adults. The test is available in visual, auditory, or mixed format, with each format containing language and culture-free stimuli. The test involves no left/right discrimination or sequencing, and responses are measured with a unique microswitch to maximize precision in recording responses.

For each quarter of the test, scores are compared to a large age and gender-matched normative sample. An ‘Attention Comparison Score’ compares performance to a group of independently diagnosed individuals with ADHD.

The TOVA system includes hardware and software compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems and provides immediate, easy-to-read results reporting and comparisons on the testing computer; no network access is required.

To find out more information about the TOVA system, click here.

2. MOXO

Audience: Ages 6+

Test Duration: 14-18 minutes

Administration: Online

The MOXO d-CPT provides four major indices of performance: attentiveness, timeliness, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity. This cloud-based test measures user responses with a game-like format that incorporates visual and auditory distracters. There are two versions of the test ‒ one for children, and the other for teens and adults. Since the test does not require any verbal skill or reading ability, it is suitable for all users, irrespective of their primary language.

MOXO d-CPT can be used as a diagnostic aid and for monitoring progress over the course of treatment in clients with attention-related disorders. It is also suitable for longitudinal tracking in individuals aiming to achieve peak performance. Clinician reports show performance with standardized (z) scores that compare the client’s score with a group of the same gender and similar age. Reports also give a record of the user’s performance during the various segments of the test, illustrating how performance was affected by each type of distracter.

To find out more information about MOXO, click here. You can also check out a short demonstration of the MOXO’s children’s d-CPT in this video.

3. Conners’ CPT3

Audience: Ages 8+

Test Duration: 14 minutes

Administration: Computer-based

The Conners’ CPT3 test may be used as a diagnostic aid for attention deficits and related conditions, as well as for progress monitoring. The test measures inattentiveness, impulsivity, sustained attention, and vigilance. It provides clinicians with detailed performance data for individual assessments and facilitates the tracking of treatment efficacy over time.

Detailed scores include: detectability (d’), omissions, commissions, perseverations, hit reaction time (HRT), HRT standard deviation (SD), HRTSD variability, change in HRT across blocks, and change in HRT at various inter-stimulus intervals. Scores are compared to a large normative sample representative of the United States population on key demographic variables.

The test is administered on a Windows-based PC and requires custom hardware and software. The Conners’ CPT3 includes visual stimuli but can be used in conjunction with the Conners’ Continuous Auditory Test of Attention (CATA) for a more comprehensive evaluation.

To find out more information about the Conners’ CPT3 test, click here. You can also watch a short demonstration of the Conners’ CPT3 in this video.

4. NeuroTrax Go-NoGo Test

Audience: Ages 9+

Test Duration: 2-6 minutes

Administration: Computer-based

The NeuroTrax Go-NoGo test is a brief CPT that is part of a comprehensive cognitive assessment suite. The Go-NoGo test contributes to indices of executive function, attention, and working memory (depending upon the battery). No network connectivity is required during testing, and results are available immediately after testing.

During the test, clients are presented with a series of colored squares at variable delays. Each square may be one of four colors. The task is to respond as rapidly as possible by pressing a m