Protocol - Computerized Neurocognitive Battery (CNB)

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Computerized Neurocognitive Battery (CNB)


Publicly available


A series of tests used in neuroimaging studies that are formatted like computer games and puzzles, and are administered by study investigators. The Computerized Neurocognitive Battery (CNB) is administered in a specific order using clickable icons on a computer. A test administrator reads each test’s instructions, and then the participant performs each test. The following tests are recommended for all programs. However, additional CNB tests, or a shorter selection, can be given, depending on the needs of the setting.

1) Penn Conditional Exclusion Test (PCET)

   a. Measurement of abstraction and concept formation

   b. Four alternate forms available

   c. Accuracy and speed scores calculated

2) Penn Continuous Performance Test (PCPT)

   a. Measurement of attention

   b. Attention speed is calculated from the median correct response time

   c. Accuracy score is recorded

3) Letter N-Back (LNB)

   a. Measurement of working memory

   b. Speed is calculated from the median correct response time

   c. Accuracy score is recorded

4) Penn Word Memory Test (PWMT)

   a. Measurement of verbal episodic memory

   b. Speed is calculated from the median correct response time

   c. Accuracy score is recorded

5) Penn Face Memory Test (PFMT)

   a. Measurement of face episodic memory

   b. Speed is calculated from the median correct response time

   c. Accuracy score is recorded

6) Visual Object Learning Test (VOLT)

   a. Measurement of spatial episodic memory

   b. Speed is calculated from the median correct response time

   c. Accuracy score is recorded

7) Abbreviated Penn Verbal Reasoning Test (PVRT)

   a. Measurement of language reasoning

   b. 2 forms available

   c. Accuracy and speed scores are calculated

8) Penn Matrix Reasoning Test (PMAT)

   a. Measurement of nonverbal reasoning estimate of IQ

   b. Computerized version of Raven’s Matrices

   c. Accuracy and speed scores calculated

9) Penn Line Orientation Test (PLOT)

   a. Measurement of spatial processing

   b. Computerized version of Benton’s test

   c. Accuracy and speed scores calculated

10) Penn Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST)

   a. Measurement of processing speed

   b. Computerized adaptation of the classical DSST

   c. Accuracy and speed scores calculated

11) Mouse Practice task (MP)

   a. Measurement of sensorimotor processing speed

   b. Speed is calculated from the median response time

   c. Two forms available

12) Computerized Finger Tapping Test (CTAP)

   a. Measurement of motor speed

   b. Number of taps is recorded in a period of 10 seconds

13) Emotion Recognition test (ER-40)

   a. Measurement of emotion identification

   b. Two forms available

   c. Accuracy score calculated

   d. Speed for correct responses is calculated from the median response time

Test results are uploaded to a data repository via an automated script. Results are scored by a program and evaluated by a neuropsychologist.


The Computerized Neurocognitive Battery (CNB) is a proprietary instrument.

For license purchase, please contact:

Brain Behavior Laboratory
Neuropsychiatry Section
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
3400 Spruce Street
10th Floor, Gates Bldg.
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4283

Personnel and Training Required

The Computerized Neurocognitive Battery (CNB) administrator must be trained to conduct testing with individuals from the general population. The CNB administrator must be trained and found to be competent (i.e., evaluated by an expert) at the completion of training.

Equipment Needs

The Computerized Neurocognitive Battery (CNB) administrator will require a web-enabled laptop or desktop computer to administer the tests.


Requirement CategoryRequired
Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individualYes
Major equipmentNo
Specialized requirements for biospecimen collectionNo
Specialized trainingYes

Mode of Administration


Life Stage:

Child, Adolescent, Adult, Senior

Specific Instructions:

The Computerized Neurocognitive Battery (CNB) takes approximately 1 hour to administer. An investigator interested in using the CNB can register for an account on the PennCNP® website at [link[penncnp.med.upenn.edu/request.pl|https://penncnp.med.upenn.edu/request.pl]] by submitting a form to verify research credentials and Institutional Review Board compliance.

For all funded (government or industry) projects, the rates are delineated by service type.

The CNB has been translated into more than 15 languages and is adapted for children and adults.

Research Domain Information

Release Date:

January 17, 2017


A battery of tests used to collect a broad range of neuropsychological functions.


The tests measure accuracy and speed of performance in cognition. The areas of cognition included are general cognitive ability/IQ estimate, abstraction, attention, psychomotor processing speed, working memory, episodic memory, language reasoning, nonverbal reasoning, spatial processing, emotion identification, emotion intensity differentiation, age differentiation, sensorimotor speed, and motor speed.

Selection Rationale

The Computerized Neurocognitive Battery (CNB) allows for centralized data collection, has good norms, and is appropriate for teenagers and young adults. The computerization allows for easy and standardized administration, scoring, and data collection. It has alternative forms on many of the subtests. The CNB has been administered to more than 10,000 people aged 8 years and older and thus has extensive norms. The CNB has a broad range of coverage and a depth of assessing cognition, and it can measure speed as well as accuracy. It measures a very wide selection of domains important in neuropsychological assessment. The CNB has a number of largely nonverbal tests that can be useful in non-English-speaking populations, and it has been translated into many languages. The CNB can measure change over time in a population. The computer captures reaction time, enabling predictions of participants’ real-world performance. The CNB provides a reliable estimate of IQ, which is important to estimate general cognitive ability. The CNB has a growth chart that can be printed out with a child’s profile for his or her parents, which is very helpful to show the child’s status before treatment and after a few months.


English, Spanish, Available in other languages


Common Data Elements (CDE)Cognitive Function Computerized Neurocognitive Battery Assessment Score3076086CDE Browser
Common Data Elements (CDE)Cognitive Function Computerized Neurocognitive Battery Assessment Score5626900CDE Browser

Process and Review

The Expert Review Panel has not reviewed this measure yet.


Gur, R. C., Richard J., Hughett, P., Calkins, M. E., Macy, L., Bilker, W. B., . . . Gur, R. E. (2010). A cognitive neuroscience based computerized battery for efficient measurement of individual differences: Standardization and initial construct validation. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 187(2), 254-262.

General References

Neuroimaging and Cognitive Core (NICC). Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, accessed May 18, 2016. [link[www.med.upenn.edu/bbl/bbl_cnb.shtml|http://www.med.upenn.edu/bbl/bbl_cnb.shtml]].

Gur, R. C., Calkins, M. E., Satterthwaite, T. D., Ruparel, K., Bilker, W. B., Moore, T. M., Savitt, A. P., Hakonarson, H., & Gur, R. E. (2014). Neurocognitive growth charting in psychosis spectrum youths. JAMA Psychiatry, 71(4), 366-374.

Moore, T. M., Reise, S. P., Gur, R. E., Hakonarson, H., & Gur, R. C. (2015, March). Psychometric properties of the Penn Computerized Neurocognitive Battery. Neuropsychology, 29(2), 235-246.

Roalf, D. R., Ruparel, K., Gur, R. E., Bilker, W., Gerraty, R., Elliott, M. A., Gallagher, R. S., Almasy, L., Pogue-Geile, M. F., Prasad, K., Wood, J., Nimgaonkar, V. L., & Gur, R. C. (2014). Neuroimaging predictors of cognitive performance across a standardized neurocognitive battery. Neuropsychology, 28(2), 161-176.

Swagerman, S. C., de Geus, E. J., Kan, K. J., van Bergen, E., Nieuwboer, H. A., Koenis, M. M., Hulshoff Pol, H. E., Gur, R. E., Gur, R. C., & Boomsma, D. I. (2016). The Computerized Neurocognitive Battery: Validation, aging effects, and heritability across cognitive domains. Neuropsychology, 30(1), 53-64.

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