Why Computer Based Cognitive Testing is Important

By | August 9, 2010

We now have the cognitive diagnostic tools available to identify conditions such as early stage dementia, impairment to driving skills, attention deficit problems, and auditory processing issues that affect language comprehension and reading skills.

Improvement to quality of care (and improvement to a person’s quality of life) rank as the top reasons why standardized cognitive testing is important. The broad concept of personalized medicine applies here: the concept that evidence based cognitive testing can be used to help guide individual, personalized therapeutic interventions.

For example, auditory processing difficulties affect 3%-5% of young children. Auditory discrimination (hearing the difference between /p/ and /b/) and auditory processing speed (ability to “keep up” with the complex sound sequences that form words and phrases) are both necessary for language comprehension. Auditory processing deficits can show up very early in life, and if not addressed can result in chronic language comprehension problems in school that negatively impact learning.

Having a standard cognitive test for pre-school children that includes auditory processing benchmarks would have a significant benefit. Any auditory processing issues with a child would be caught early enough so that the appropriate intervention (structured sound training, etc) can be applied before the issue affects learning and school performance.