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The original version of EXAMINER built for Windows and MacOS is no longer supported or distributed. Several subtests have been adapted for the TabCAT cognitive testing platform built for iPadOS. To learn more about TabCAT or to request an account to use TabCAT, please see the main TabCAT page


Domain: Working Memory

Dot Counting

Dot Counting is a test of verbal working memory. The examinee is asked to look at a screen with a mixed array of green circles, blue circles, and blue squares. The examinee is asked to count all of the blue circles on the screen one at a time out loud and remember the final total. Once the examinee finishes counting the blue circles, the examiner shows the next screen, which includes a new display of green circles, blue circles, and blue squares. The examinee is instructed to count the blue circles on the new display. The task requires the ability to continually update and hold the numbers of blue circles on all prior displays while counting circles on the current display.

Running Dots

Running Dots is a test of spatial working memory. The examinee watches a series of dots appear and disappear from a screen one by one in various locations on a 16-square grid. The examinee is then asked to recall the last 2 to 5 dot locations, depending on the trial condition. One to 6 leading dots precede each set of “target dots” that the examinee is instructed to remember in the order of appearance (e.g., “remember the location of the last 2 dots you see in the order that they appear”). There are 3 trials per each condition. Credit is given for each correctly identified dot location in order of appearance. Partial credit is given for each dot location correctly identified.

Domain: Inhibition


Flanker is a test of cognitive control and inhibition. A row of 5 arrows is presented in the center of the screen. The examinee is required to indicate whether the centrally presented arrow is pointing either to the left or right by pressing the left or right arrow key on the screen. The examinee is presented with 2 different conditions during the task, incongruent and congruent. In the congruent trials, the non-target arrows point in the same direction as the target arrow. In the incongruent trials, the non-target arrows point in the opposite direction of the target arrow. Examinees are encouraged to respond as quickly and accurately as possible.

Domain: Set Shifting

Set Shifting

Set Shifting is a test of set-shifting skills. During each trial, the examinee is required to match a stimulus on the top of the screen to one of two stimuli in the lower corners of the screen. In task-homogeneous blocks, the examinee performs either Task A (e.g., classifying shapes) or Task B (e.g., classifying colors). In task-heterogeneous blocks, the examinee alternates between the two tasks pseudo-randomly. The combination of task-homogeneous and task-heterogeneous blocks allows measurement of general switch costs (latency differences between heterogeneous and homogeneous blocks) 

Domain: Fluency

Phonemic Fluency

For the phonemic fluency task, the examinee is instructed to name as many words as they can that begin with a particular letter of the alphabet as quickly as they can. Sixty seconds are allowed for each letter.

Category Fluency

For the category fluency task, the examinee is asked to generate as many items that they can think of that belong to a particular category as quickly as possible. Sixty seconds are allowed for each category.

Compatibility with the Original EXAMINER Platform

It is important to note that the original computer-based test and the new tablet-based tests for EXAMINER are not interchangeable and their data should not be compared.

Due to the new tablet-based testing format and the addition of Running Dots to the battery, the UCSF EXAMINER team is updating the EXAMINER composite score generated by item-response theory.