Continuous Performance Tests
Cynthia A. Riccio
The continuous performance test (CPT) is one group of measures for the evaluation of attention as well as response inhibition (or disinhibition); Fleming, Goldberg, and Gold have described the CPT as the gold standard for measuring sustained attention. The original CPT was developed by Rosvold, Mirsky, Sarason, Bransome, and Beck in 1956 as a research tool to study vigilance. Since that time, the CPT has continued to be used in the study of attention as well as executive control, with multiple variations in the components of the task; today, the majority of CPTs are computer administered. The basic CPT paradigm consists of rapid presentation of continuously changing stimuli with a designated “target” stimulus or pattern such that the individual is to respond (or inhibit responding) based on the stimulus presented. It requires selective attention or vigilance for an infrequently occurring target relevant stimulus; at the same time, the duration of ...