VSAT: Divided and Selective Attention Test


Test for divided attention and multitasking.

This is a test for multitasking ability, in which a strong appeal is made to the ability to distribute attention to two sensory systems: the visual and the auditory system. At the same time, the motor system is challenged to give a 3-choice response. Visually, a simple calculation is presented that must be assessed for accuracy, and at the same time a group of 3, 4 or 5 beeps must be assessed for the number of beeps. The trials in a block follow each other in a fixed interval. A response can be given via the 3 cursor keys Left, Down and Right of the keyboard, or via buttons on the (touch) screen. However, it is recommended to use the external button box in this test. The percentage correct is the most important outcome measure.

One of the reaction choices is if both the calculation sum is correct and the group of beeps contains the requested number; the second choice is correct if one of the two criteria is met; the third choice applies when neither the sum is correct nor the number of beeps corresponding to the requested number. There are preferably 5 blocks with 36 trials, and with each block the rate of presentations become slightly higher (shorter and shorter interval). The test can also be administered in English and French.

Norms have yet to be developed. However, it has already become clear that this test is very well suited for training purposes, for example in training attention and stress resilience.