Constructs and Definitions

Last Updated: Oct 07, 2015 01:07AM UTC

The definitions below relate to each of the 6 constructs measured during the NeuroPerformance Assessment (NPA). The first 3 definitions are for Stress related constructs. The last 3 relate to Focus constructs. 

 

Stress Constructs
 

Activation Baseline:

A measure of mental activity during the non-task portion of the NPA, which reflects how "busy" the brain is during a restful period.

A high score indicates a strong ability to appropriately quiet the brain during restful periods.

A low score indicates one of two things, either your activation baseline is too high or too low:
  • Too high means the brain is more active during restful periods of the assessment than necessary. Constant mental activity may make it difficult to disengage the mind, which can be reflected in poor sleep quality or thought rumination (e.g., not letting go of mistakes or being kept awake by a 'spinning mind'). This can lead to making errors as tasks become more demanding, due to 'running out of gas' trying to keep the same constant high level of activation and/or “over thinking” things.
 
  • Too low means the brain is less active than is optimal during non-task portions of the assessment. An under activated state may lead to one feeling not fully present, not able to pay attention well, and/or lead to difficulty getting maximally engaged for tasks. This is often demonstrated by needing external motivators like an impending deadline or consequence to decrease procrastination and increase effort when given a boring or challenging task.


 

 

Stress Regulation:

This metric reflects both the stability of brain activation and the stability of response time during the varying demand levels of the CPT.

  • A high score indicates greater consistency in both activation and response time. This means that even as the level of the demand changes, the attention and response time remain relatively constant.
  • A low score indicates inconsistent attention or response time throughout the task. Inconsistency in either area means you may be challenged to match your attention level to the task demand level, i.e., inefficiency of brain energy.



 

 

​​Max Activation:

This metric reflects the change in brain activation between the resting and the CPT portions of the assessment.

A low score indicates a challenge to increase brain activation during tasks. This is result of either A) a challenge with getting more engaged with rising demands or B) a high level of brain activation during rest periods.

  • A) In the first instance, it is a challenge to pay attention and get “engaged” despite the fact that the demand may be high.
  • B) In the second example, coming into a situation when your mind is already very active or “over-thinking” and adding more demand, your brain will exceed its capacity to perform optimally. Imagine going into a situation with an almost full 'stress-cup'. Only so much can be added before the cup overflows, causing a loss of concentration or a mistake. Additionally, if nearly every situation is using all available “brain power”, you are likely to wear yourself out sooner. Optimally, entering a situation with a more calm and “uncluttered” brain allows room to engage as the task demand increases.





 

Focus Constructs

Focus Capacity:

This metric reflects the ability to create a focused brain state.

  • A high score indicates a strong ability to pay attention when necessary.
  • A low score indicates a challenge to focus when necessary.


 

 

 

Focus Endurance:

This metric is derived only from the task portion of the assessment and reflects attention and errors over an extended period of time.

  • A high score indicates an improvement in focus level and an ability to sustain this from the start to the end of the CPT and making few errors.
  • A low score indicates that the level of focus decreased as the CPT progressed and/or there were a high number of errors.


 

 

Impulse Control:

This metric reflects speed and accuracy of responses during the Continuous Performance Task (CPT) portion of the assessment.

  • A high score indicates quick and accurate responses during the CPT.
  • A lower score on this metric indicates a higher number of impulse errors across the task.