The Computerized Neurocognitive Battery: Validation, aging effects, and heritability across cognitive domains

S.C. Swagerman, E.J.C. de Geus, K.J. Kan, E. van Bergen, H.A. Nieuwboer, M.M.G. Koenis, H.E. Hulshoff Pol, R.E. Gur, R.C. Gur, D.I. Boomsma

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: The Computerized Neurocognitive Battery (CNB) enables efficient neurocognitive assessment. The authors aimed to (a) estimate validity and reliability of the battery's Dutch translation, (b) investigate effects of age across cognitive domains, and (c) estimate heritability of the CNB tests. Method: A populationrepresentative sample of 1,140 participants (aged 10-86), mainly twin-families, was tested on the CNB, providing measures of speed and accuracy in 14 cognitive domains. In a subsample (246 subjects aged 14-22), IQ data (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Adults; WAIS) were available. Validity and reliability were assessed by Cronbach's alpha, comparisons of scores between Dutch and U.S. samples, and investigation of how a CNB-based common factor compared to a WAIS-based general factor of intelligence (g). Linear and nonlinear age dependencies covering the life span were modeled through regression. Heritability was estimated from twin data and from entire pedigree data. Results: Internal consistency of all tests was moderate to high (median = 0.86). Effects of gender, age, and education on cognitive performance closely resembled U.S. samples. The CNB-based common factor was completely captured by the WAIS-based g. Some domains, like nonverbal reasoning accuracy, peaked in young adulthood and showed steady decline. Other domains, like language reasoning accuracy, peaked in middle adulthood and were spared decline. CNB-test heritabilities were moderate (median h2 = 31%). Heritability of the CNB common factor was 70%, similar to the WAIS-based g-factor. Conclusion: The CNB can be used to assess specific neurocognitive performance, as well as to obtain a reliable proxy of general intelligence. Effects of aging and heritability differed across cognitive domains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-64
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Cohort Studies

  • Netherlands Twin Register (NTR)


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