Computerised assessments of cognitive function and mood provide the most sensitive possible measure of change due to nutritional interventions.
COMPASS was custom designed with the flexibility to accomodate all of our computerised testing requirements. The software system can organise stimuli according to the experimental design and deliver random parallel versions of a full range of standard and novel cognitive tasks and mood scales. New tasks can be added as required. The system can be used to operationalise a number of the specific paradigms that we use in our research.
A good start with any programme of investigation is a general assessment of experimental effects on mental performance. The COMPASS battery includes a comprehensive portfolio of standard and novel tasks for assessing accuracy and speed of performance across cognitivedomains – including ‘Secondary’, ‘Working’ and ‘Spatial’ Memory,Attention, and Executive Function.
Our early work looking at the effects of glucose on cognition suggested that the benefits of some interventions might not be picked up by standard cognitive tasks and might only be evident when mental resources were pushed to the limit. The Cognitive Demand Battery is a set of demanding mental arithmetic and attention tasks that have been shown to be sensitive to a variety of treatments and to consistently lead to mental fatigue.
Recently developed Internet and Mobile Phone testing technology meanthat we can take the assessment of cognitive performance and mood outof the laboratory and in to people’s everyday lives. These testingtechniques can add an interesting ecologically valid element to thegold standard of laboratory studies.
Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Centre
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
4th Floor, Northumberland Building
Newcastle upon Tyne