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The attention maintenance test is performed to measure how quickly a patient responds to abnormal stimuli. The maintenance of attention test is based on the so-called the Mackworth clock test, which assessed the alertness of radar operators during World War II. Today, the attention maintenance test has another application as well. What is the Attention Retention Test? What are the indications for its implementation?

Attention maintenance testis based on the assessment of the patient's reaction time to the appearance of a double jump point on the computer screen, moving in a circle in a clockwise direction. The Attention Retention Test is based on the so-calledMackworth clock test , which was developed to assess the vigilance of radar operators in the British Air Force during World War II.

Attention maintenance test - indications

The attention maintenance test is performed in people with moderate or severe sleepiness who have problems with staying awake not only in monotonous situations, but also in situations that are very unusual for falling asleep (e.g. during a conversation). Therefore, the attention maintenance test can also be used in the diagnosis of narcolepsy.

Attention maintenance test - what is it about?

The subject observes the red point moving around the circumference of the clock face on the computer screen and is to press the button when he notices that the point has made a double jump. He has 8 seconds to do so. If he does not press the button within this time, he is deemed not to have noticed the double jump. The test takes 28 minutes.

The test assesses the number of skipped jumps, the number of abnormal responses (when the patient pressed a button even though the point did not double-jump), the average reaction time, standard deviation of the reaction time, and lengthening of the reaction time.

Other tests are also usually performed, indicated for people with sleep disorders and excessive daytime sleepiness, such as sleep quality (the Athenian insomnia scale - AIS) or daytime sleepiness (Epworth sleepiness scale - ESS).

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