The potential of function-led virtual environments for ecologically valid measures of executive function in experimental and clinical neuropsychology

Thomas D. Parsons, Anne R. Carlew, Jonlih Magtoto, Kiefer Stonecipher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations

Abstract

The assessment of executive functions is an integral task of neuropsychological assessment. Traditional measures of executive function are often based on hypothetical constructs that may have little relevance to real-world behaviours. In fact, some traditional tests utilised today were not originally developed for clinical use. Recently, researchers have been arguing for a new generation of “function-led” neuropsychological assessments that are developed from directly observable everyday behaviours. Although virtual environments (VEs) have been presented as potential aides in enhancing ecological validity, many were modelled on construct-driven approaches found in traditional assessments. In the current paper, we review construct-driven and function-led VE-based neuropsychological assessments of executive functions. Overall, function-led VEs best represent the sorts of tasks needed for enhanced ecological validity and prediction of real-world functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)777-807
Number of pages31
JournalNeuropsychological Rehabilitation
Volume27
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 4 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ecological validity
  • Executive function
  • Neuropsychological assessment
  • Virtual environments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology

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