Online cognition: factors facilitating reliable online neuropsychological test results

Heleen E M Feenstra, Ivar E Vermeulen, Jaap M J Murre, Sanne B Schagen

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OBJECTIVE: Online neuropsychological test batteries could allow for large-scale cognitive data collection in clinical studies. However, the few online neuropsychological test batteries that are currently available often still require supervision or lack proper psychometric evaluation. In this paper, we have outlined prerequisites for proper development and use of online neuropsychological tests, with the focus on reliable measurement of cognitive function in an unmonitored setting.

METHOD: First, we identified several technical, contextual, and psychological factors that should be taken into account in order to facilitate reliable test results of online tests in the unmonitored setting. Second, we outlined a methodology of quality assurance needed in order to obtain reliable cognitive data in the long run.

RESULTS: Based on factors that distinguish the online unmonitored test setting from the traditional face-to-face setting, we provide a set of basic requirements and suggestions for optimal development and use of unmonitored online neuropsychological tests, including suggestions on acquiring reliability, validity, and norm scores.

CONCLUSIONS: When properly addressing factors that could hamper reliable test results during development and use, online neuropsychological tests could aid large-scale data collection for clinical studies in the future. Investment in both proper development of online neuropsychological test platforms and the performance of accompanying psychometric studies is currently required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-84
Number of pages26
JournalClinical Neuropsychologist
Issue number1
Early online date8 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


  • Journal Article


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