Screening for more than level of cognitive functioning: the BNI screen for higher cerebral functions

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: This paper describes the BNI Screen for Higher Cerebral Functions (BNIS) and reviews studies that comment on its reliability, validity, and clinical and research utility. The ability of the BNIS to assess non-cognitive higher brain functions is also described. Methods: We reviewed the original administration manual, studies published in the BNI Quarterly of the Barrow Neurological Institute, and peer-reviewed studies on the BNI Screen identified by an academic database, PubMed and Google Scholar. Thirty-two studies were reviewed that describe normative data, psychometric properties, sensitivity and specificity estimates, the relationship of demographic factors to test performance, and its research utility. Results: The BNIS is a time efficient screening test often taking no longer than 12–18 minutes. In addition to cognitive functioning, it aids in assessing conation, awareness of memory impairment, and affects expression and perception. Sensitivity estimates ranged from 80% to 92.3%. Specificity estimates ranged from 38.9% to 90%. Its construct, concurrent, and predictive validity have been supported by a series of international studies using different language translations of the test. Conclusion: The BNIS is a useful screening test for identifying patients with underlying brain disorders that uniquely measures domains of functioning not sampled by other existing screening tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBrain injury
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • BNI screen for higher cerebral functions
  • clinical and research utility
  • cross cultural findings
  • normative data
  • reliability
  • validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology


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