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Validating the computerised Austin Maze task in a Traumatic Brian Injury sample


Honan, CA and McDonald, S and Fisher, A, Validating the computerised Austin Maze task in a Traumatic Brian Injury sample, INS/ASSBI 5th Pacific Rim Conference, July 2015, Sydney, Australia (2015) [Conference Extract]


Background and aims: An important aspect of cognitive functioning that is often impaired in people who have sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is visuospatial learning and memory. A measure of visuospatial learning that has a long history in both clinical neuropsychological practice and research, especially in individuals with TBI, is the Austin Maze task (Bray & McDonald, 2010). However, this task has not been validated in a clinical population. The aim of this study was to assess the validity of the new computerised version of the Austin Maze task in TBI individuals.

Method: Participants included 28 individuals with moderate-to-severe TBI and 28 demographically matched healthy controls. Participants completed the Austin maze task together with alternative neuropsychological measures including the WAIS-III Digit Symbol and Digit Span subtests, the Trail Making Test, WMS-III Logical Memory, and Rey Osterrieth Complex Figure Test.

Results: TBI individuals performed significantly more poorly on the Austin Maze task than control participants. The Austin Maze task also demonstrated good convergent and divergent validity with the alternative neuropsychological measures. Thus, the computerised version of the Austin Maze appears to be a sensitive measure that can detect visuospatial learning impairments in individuals with moderate-to-severe TBI.

Conclusions: The new computerised version Austin Maze task is a valid tool to assess visuospatial learning in those with acquired brain injury, which is also more accessible and easier to administer than the conventional form of the test.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Biological psychology
Research Field:Behavioural neuroscience
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Honan, CA (Dr Cynthia Honan)
ID Code:104557
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2015-11-16
Last Modified:2016-03-22

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