Working Memory

Digit Span (WISC-R for children, WMS-R for adults)

For Digit Span Forward, the participant is read a sequence of numbers and recalls the numbers aloud in the same order. For Digit Span Backward, the examinee is read a sequence of numbers and recalls the numbers aloud in reverse order. The test measures simple attention, short term memory, and working memory.

Note: The Digit Span is administered to children and adults ages 6-85 years old.


Ivnik, et al (1992) Mayo’s older Americas normative studies: WAIS-R norms for ages 56 to 97. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 6, 1-30.

Kaufman, A. (1975) Factor analysis of the WISC-R at 11 age levels between 6 ½ and 16 ½. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 43, 2, 135-147.

Penn CNP

The Penn Computerized Neurocognitive Battery is a computerized battery that takes an average of one hour to complete and provides measures of accuracy and speed in nine neurocognitive domains: abstraction/flexibility, attention, working memory, episodic memory, language, spatial, sensorimotor, motor speed, and emotion identification.

References: Gur, R.C., et al. (2009). A cognitive neuroscience-based computerized battery for efficient measurement of individual differences: Standardization and initial construct validation. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 187(2010), 254-262.

Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT)

The RAVLT evaluates verbal learning and memory. The examiner reads aloud a list of 15 words at the rate of one per second. The participant is then asked to repeat all words from the list that he/she can remember. This procedure is carried out a total of five times. The examiner then presents a second list of 15 words, allowing the participant only one attempt at recall of this new list. Immediately following this, the participant is asked to remember as many words as possible from the first list. After a 20-minute delay, the participant is again asked to recall as many words as possible from the first list. The participant is then read a list of words and asked to indicate whether each word was from the first list. The RAVLT has proven useful in evaluating verbal learning and memory, including proactive inhibition, retroactive inhibition, retention, encoding versus retrieval, and subjective organization.

Note: The RAVLT is administered to children and adults ages 8-85.

References: Schmidt, M. (1996) Rey Auditory and Verbal Learning Test. A handbook. Los Angeles: Western Psychological Association