Measuring Executive Function Using Eye Movements on a Computerized Trail Making Test: A Pilot Study

Main Article Content

Maya Libben Graham M. B. Armstrong Damian Leitner Harry Miller

Abstract

Objective: The current study investigated the validity of a novel computerized version of the Trail Making Test, and tested whether the integration of eye-tracking increased specificity and predictive power with other tests of executive function. We were specifically interested in whether eye movements, recorded during the completion of a computerized version of the Trail Making Test, served as a predictor of executive function as measured by the computerized Wisconsin Card Sorting Test.


Methods: Forty participants completed the pencil-and-paper Trail Making Test, the computerized Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and the computerized Trail Making Test. Eye movements were recorded during the completion of the computerized Trail Making Test.


Results: Eye-tracking measures for part B of the computerized Trail Making Test were correlated with T-scores for perseverative and non-perseverative responses/errors on the computerized Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. Hierarchical linear regression revealed that eye-tracking measures predicted variance for perseverative and non-perseverative errors/responses on the computerized Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, above and beyond Trail Making Test completion time.


Conclusions: The current pilot study supported the use of computerized versions of the Trail Making Test and provided preliminary evidence that eye movements may significantly add to the specificity in assessing executive function using the Trail Making Test.

Keywords: Trail Making Test, Executive Function, Eye Tracking, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Computerized Test Administration

Article Details

How to Cite
LIBBEN, Maya et al. Measuring Executive Function Using Eye Movements on a Computerized Trail Making Test: A Pilot Study. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 11, n. 3, mar. 2023. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <https://esmed.org/MRA/mra/article/view/3594>. Date accessed: 20 apr. 2024. doi: https://doi.org/10.18103/mra.v11i3.3594.
Section
Research Articles

References

1. Parsey CM, Schmitter-Edgecombe M. Applications of technology in neuropsychological assessment. The Clinical Neuropsychologist. 2013;27(8):1328-1361.
2. Bauer RM, Iverson GL, Cernich AN, Binder LM, Ruff RM, Naugle RI. Computerized neuropsychological assessment devices: Joint position paper of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology and the National Academy of Neuropsychology. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology. 2012;27:362-373.
3. Lezak MD. Neuropsychological assessment. 3rd ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 1995.
4. Reitan RM. The relation of the Trail Making Test to organic brain damage. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 1955;19(5):393-394.
5. Smith BT. Creation of a more accurate and predictive Trail Making Test. Doctoral dissertation, University of North Carolina Wilmington; 2012.
6. Woods DL, Wyma JM, Herron TJ, Yund EW. The effects of aging, malingering, and traumatic brain injury on computerized trail-making test performance. PloS One. 2015;10(6):e0124345.
7. Park S, Schott N. The trail-making-test: comparison between paper-and-pencil and computerized versions in young and healthy older adults. Applied Neuropsychology: Adult. 2021; doi:10.1080/23279095.2020.1864374.
8. Zeng Z, Miao C, Leung C, Shen Z. Computerizing Trail Making Test for long-term cognitive self-assessment. International Journal of Crowd Science. 2017;1(1):89-99.
9. Rayner K. Eye-movements and attention in reading, scene perception, and visual search. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. 2009;62(8):1457-1506.
10. Hicks S, Sharma R, Khan A, Berna C, Waldecker A, Talbot K, Turner MR. An Eye-Tracking Version of the Trail-Making Test. PloS One. 2013;8:e84061.
11. Ríos M, Periáñez JA, Muñoz-Céspedes JM. Attentional control and slowness of information processing after severe traumatic brain injury. Brain Injury. 2004;18(3):257-272.
12. Bowie CR, Harvey PD. Administration and interpretation of the Trail Making Test. Nature Protocols. 2006;1(5):2277-2281.
13. Arbuthnott K, Frank J. Trail Making Test, part B as a measure of executive control: validation using a set-switching paradigm. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology. 2000;22(4):518-528.
14. Kortte KB, Horner MD, Windham WK. The Trail Making Test, Part B: Cognitive flexibility or ability to maintain set? Applied Neuropsychology. 2002;9:106-109.
15. Ardila A, Pineda D, Rosselli M. Correlation between intelligence test scores and executive function measures. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology. 2000;15:31-36.
16. Testa R, Bennett P, Ponsford J. Factor analysis of nineteen executive function tests in a healthy adult population. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology. 2012;27(2):213-224.
17. Heaton RK. Wisconsin Card Sorting Test Manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources; 1981.
18.Heaton RK., & Goldin JN. Wisconsin Card Sorting Test: Computer Version 4 Research Edition. User's Manual. Lutz, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources. 2005:165-172.
19. Tombaugh T. Trail Making Test A and B: Normative data stratified by age and education. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology. 2004;19(2):203-214.
20. Strauss E, Sherman EM, & Spreen, O. A compendium of neuropsychological tests: Administration, norms, and commentary. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association; 2006.
21. Vlaskamp B & Hooge, I. Crowding degrades visual search. Vision Research. 2006;46:417-425.