Reaction time and rapid serial processing measures of information processing speed in multiple sclerosis: Complexity, compounding, and augmentation

Abbey J. Hughes, Douglas R. Denney, Sharon G. Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Information processing speed is frequently cited as the primary cognitive domain impacted by multiple sclerosis (MS) and is usually evaluated with reaction time (RT) or rapid serial processing (RSP) measures. The present study compared the efficacy of RT and RSP measures to distinguish between patients with MS (N = 42) and healthy controls (N = 40). The RT measure was patterned after the Computerized Tests of Information Processing and included measures of simple, choice, and semantic RT. The RSP measures consisted of the Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT) and the Stroop Test. Substantial differences in information processing speed between patients and controls were found on all tests, with slightly larger effect sizes for RSP measures than RT measures and for the SDMT than the Stroop Test. Binary logistic regression analyses showed RSP measures performed better than RT measures at distinguishing patients from controls, and likewise, the SDMT score performed better than the scores derived from the Stroop Test. Results are discussed in the context of three effects associated with common measures of processing speed: complexity, compounding, and augmentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1113-1121
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Volume17
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Autoimmune demyelinating diseases
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive aspects
  • Neuropsychological tests
  • Response time
  • Stroop Test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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