AQT Introductions


AQT has been used to screen and assess cognitive dysfunctions such as mild cognitive impairments of unspecified origins, dementias of the Alzheimer’s type and dementias with Lewy bodies. Findings suggest that AQT may be used to identify early cognitive impairments, follow the progression of disease processes and monitor the effects of medication, among others.

AQT (Wiig et al. 2002) is a test of cognitive processing speed mediated by temporal-parietal regions. The test contains five separate rapid-naming tasks: Task A. Color-Form, Task B. Color-Number, Task C. Color-Letter, Task D. Color-Animal, and Task E. Color-Object Naming. Each of the naming tasks consists of three separate tests.

In every task, Test 1 is a single-dimension naming test that requires clients to state the color of 40 squares, colored randomly in black, blue, green, or red. Test 2 is also a single-dimension naming but the content varies for each task. This test requires test takers to name either 40 black visual stimuli consisting of forms (circle, square, line, triangle), numbers (2, 4, 5, 7), letters (a, b, e, o, k, m, o, p, t), animals (spider, bird, snake, fish, rat, cat), or manufactured objects (pencil, table, chair, bed, shoe). Tests 1 and 2 measure perceptual speed, including reaction and response times.

In every task, Test 3 is a dual-dimension naming test in that the client must both state the color and name of the stimulus. The dual-dimension tests combine the stimuli in Tests 1 and 2 to form color-form, color-number, color-letter, color-animal, and color-object combinations. Test 3 measures cognitive speed including attention/executive function and verbal automaticity. The three test plates for Task A. Color-Form Naming are shown below.

AQT can be administered with other stimuli to respond to cultural and linguistic characteristics. As examples, the Color-Animals or Color-Objects tasks may be substituted for Color-Form in cultures where geometric shape names are not well established by the majority.

The AQT naming tasks (a) are objective, based on total naming time as measured with a digital stopwatch; (b) provide highly reliable results (r = .88 to .96); (c) are easy and quick to administer and interpret (3-5 minutes per task); and (d) exhibit no evidence of habituation, learning, or fatigue in repeated trials over 10 minutes (Wiig et al. 2002). The AQT Color-Form naming task has been the subject of extensive clinical research, including functional neuroimaging and determination of clinical utility in differentiating patients with Alzheimer’s disease from normal controls and patients with dementia of the Alzheimer’s type and Lewy bodies


Wiig, E. H., Nielsen, N. P., Minthon, L. & Warkentin, S. (2002). Alzheimer Quick Test: Assessment of Parietal Function. San Antonio, TX: Harcourt Assessment / PsychCorp

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