One of the most reliable metrics for cognitive efficiency is the speed with which information is processed. This is most commonly evaluated via an assessment of reaction times. Reaction times are affected by aging, fatigue, and a variety of neurological disorders such as traumatic brain injury, dementia, and stroke. Current computerized batteries within clinical practice either require licenses, specific hardware, are outdated, have limited operating system compatibility, or are limited in terms of control data. To address these limitations, Mattia Rigoli and colleagues have created the open-source open-access reaction time test (OORTT).
OORTT is a computerized reaction time test battery implemented in Python using OpenSesame 3.1.9. It consists of three tests: A simple reaction times task in which participants press a space bar as quickly as possible in response to a green circle appearing in the center of the screen, a Go/No-Go task in which participants press the space bar as quickly as possible when a green circle appears but refrain from pressing when a red circle appears, and a four-position reaction times task where participants press the space bar as quickly as possible when a green circle appears in one of four quadrants of the screen.
OORTT has been validated using 300 healthy controls and 64 neurological patients. OORTT was able to successfully discriminate between patients with abnormal reaction times and healthy controls with those living with degenerative cognitive impairment showing the longest reaction times. Therefore, OORTT is an accurate battery for the measurement of reaction time in clinical settings that provides robust normative data, is multi-platform, and license free.