FINGER OSCILLATION TEST BEHAVIOR AS A FUNCTION OF DIAGNOSTIC CATEGORY AND AGE (NEUROPSYCHOLOGY, SCHIZOPHRENIA, BRAIN DAMAGE, DEMENTIA)

WILLIAM HAMILTON CARROLL, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to provide data on the finger tapping performance of subjects in two clinically important diagnostic groups--schizophrenia and dementia; to compare their performance with that of normal control subjects; and to examine the effects of age on the finger tapping performance of subjects in all three groups. The sample consisted of 90 subjects, divided into three groups: 30 Dementia (DE), 30 Schizophrenic (SC), 30 normal controls (NC). Finger tapping performance was measured using the Finger Oscillation Test (FOT). Information on age, educational level, and medication use was gathered for each subject.^ FOT performance for the NC group was significantly higher than that for either the SC or DE group, neither of which differed from the other. FOT performance varied inversely with age in the NC and SC groups, but not in the DE group. The effects of age were especially pronounced for those subjects 50 years of age and older. Subjects with more schooling performed faster than those with fewer years of schooling; and subjects taking medication performed more slowly than those taking either no medication or fewer kinds of medication. Although diagnostic category was a significant predictor of FOT performance when age, education, or medication use were controlled for individually, the predictive validity of diagnostic category became nonsignificant when all three covariates were used together.^ Results suggest that although finger tapping performance can be a valuable measure in differentiating between controls and those with cerebral pathology, its use to differentiate specific diagnostic categories within the larger psychopathological population is limited to inclusion in a larger battery of tests. Moreover, finger tapping performance must be evaluated with proper recognition of the effects of a given subject's age, educational level, and medication or drug use. ^

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

CARROLL, WILLIAM HAMILTON, "FINGER OSCILLATION TEST BEHAVIOR AS A FUNCTION OF DIAGNOSTIC CATEGORY AND AGE (NEUROPSYCHOLOGY, SCHIZOPHRENIA, BRAIN DAMAGE, DEMENTIA)" (1986). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8615726.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8615726

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