Monday, October 12, 2015

TOGRA - Test of General Reasoning Ability

I have used one of my free administrations on PARiConnect to check out TOGRA.

TOGRA is a screen of reasoning and problem solving skills for ages 10 - 75, meant to minimize racial, gender and religious (?) bias. The website says that it was standardized on a 2010-Census-matched sample of 3,013 individuals, so the normative sample is very nice, as is the age range. There are two equivalent forms.

It is a timed, 16-minute multiple choice test. It is meant to measure verbal, nonverbal, and quantitative reasoning and the problems consist of: matrices, vocabulary (e.g.: which word does not belong, which word is the opposite of), and numerical patterns and equations (with relatively little working memory loading, as the client is allowed pen and paper). It is supposed to be supervised, so that the client does not use a calculator or internet.

I did a quick search for psychometric data:
internal consistency = .92
test-retest = 0.87

Not bad.

This is very much an assessment of reasoning, without speed of processing or working memory components. However, it looks like a very solid IQ screen, an excellent component of any computerised battery, or a way of quickly establishing GAI when focusing on a specific assessment issue.

Now, I better get back to writing reports.


PARiConnect is lovely

I have finally investigated PARiConnect. This is another online platform for test administration, with some interesting neuropsychological tools (for example TOGRA looks really good for some clinical uses).

I needed a child version of BRIEF it for tomorrow, so I called PAR (Australian number 1800 101 607 - finding that out was the hardest part of the job) and asked to get onto PARiConnect to use their electronic administration.

I'm very impressed with the ease and speed of organising the whole thing - the customer support walked me through a very short and sweet set-up, and I was told that I have three free tests and reports to use. Yey!

The administration is online and one can use a computer or tablet to do it.

I still need to read their privacy policy in excruciating detail, considering that client data will be kept online, but otherwise I am good to go. By the way, my current policy is to only record clients initials with any online administrations. Any other systems out there?


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Mobile phones in epilepsy care

Thank you to Katie Kirby for the new article on mobile phones in epilepsy care. Full text article can be accessed through here.

It includes information on:

Apps for patients and caregivers:
- apps to be used as a seizure diary, e.g.: Epilepsy Society App and My Epilepsy Diary
- information provision apps, such as Epilepsy Vault
- medication reminers, eg.: Dosecast - Medication Reminder, Medication Log

Apps for healthcare providers:
- medication information: e.g.: Medication guide, Generic Drug Encyclopedia
- information about drug interactions: Drug interaction, Drug Interactions (A-Z)
- dose calculators, e.g: Creatinine Clearance Calc, etc.

Apps for detection of epilepsy:
- Epdetect is an iPhone app that uses motion sensors to detect seizures.
- Smartmonitor's Smartwatch that transmits information about the seizure and the location of the patient to a pre-determined contact
- Affectiva's Q Sensor that uses galvanic skin response rather than movement to detect seizures, and to record their severity

A very nice article.  Thank you, Katie.


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Pretty brain pictures

Have a look at the results of the 2015 Brain Art Competition here (scroll down the page to see the pictures). There are a lot more neurogoodies on this website - worth exploring.


Monday, June 29, 2015

An update on ABC Active Memory

I wrote a while back on Active Memory, a new brain training program  developed in the Florey Institute in Melbourne. I have since received an email from Mary Castellani, a post-graduate student at LaTrobe. She points out that there is no published research on this product as yet, and no substantial information about it on the Florey or Uni of Melbourne websites.  The website indicates that users “Contribute to Research”, with University of Melbourne and Florey Institute logos embedded within the website. .

Mary has also included some links to interviews with Prof Wood, who created the program, and I thought they may be worth re-posting for those who are interested in what is happening in Melbourne's neuroscience:

All in the Mind

The Health Report

Thank you, Mary,

An update on a finger-tapping app

My apologies for the long silence. Life and family issues are taking my time at the moment.

We have been talking about finger tapping tests, such as  DigiTap app a while ago, and I asked if anybody is using them. I have since had email from a colleague who says he uses it regularly, particularly when wanting to examine motor slowing or needing an indicator of a subtle weakness on one side. He uses norms from Spreen and Strauss, which he finds not to be ideal, but better than nothing. He feels that when using an iPad app people tends to get somewhat inflated scores, and tends to take notice only when both fingers are well below expectation (e.g. >1.5 SD), or if there is a big difference between fingers. Sounds to me like a good clinical rule of thumb.



Saturday, April 11, 2015


Have you heard of a Dr Stan Rodski's neuroscientific colouring book?

Mary Castellani (thank you!) heard about it today on the radio.

Check out information about the book on:


more information about Dr Rodski on: