Inhibitory control test

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Inhibitory control test is a simple test measuring the person's attention. Inhibitory Control Test evaluates both sustained attention and the ability to inhibit responses to potentially relevant stimuli. [1] is proposed as one of the ways to help in the diagnosis of early stage of hepatic encephalopathy.[2] The person taking the test is presented with random sequence of letters, among which he should discern interchanging X's and Y's and press the button when either of these two letters follows the other. Button should be pressed even when the first target letter is not followed by the second directly, being interspread with random non-target letters. Sometimes two similar target letters come in succession, luring the person into false reaction. Effective inhibition of such automatic erroneous reaction supposedly gives evidence of good brain function, while failure to keep 'lure' errors at low level points at possible mild dysfunction. The cause of the dysfunction could be the underlying liver problem that has not yet manifested in acute physiological symptoms.


  1. ^ Sharma, P; Singh, S; Tyagi, P; Kumar, P (2013). "Inhibitory Control Test, Critical Flicker Frequency, and Psychometric Tests in the Diagnosis of Minimal Hepatic Encephalopathy in Cirrhosis.". Saudi Journal Of Gastroenterology 19 (1): 40–44. doi:10.4103/1319-3767.105924. 
  2. ^ Bajaj JS, Saeian K, Verber MD, et al. (2007). "Inhibitory control test is a simple method to diagnose minimal hepatic encephalopathy and predict development of overt hepatic encephalopathy". Am. J. Gastroenterol. 102 (4): 754–60. doi:10.1111/j.1572-0241.2007.01048.x. PMID 17222319. 

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Inhibitory control test and memory

Jenkins & Berthier (2014) conducted a study on working memory and inhibitory response in toddlers. The toddlers that participated were between the ages of two and three years of age (Jenkins & Berthier, 2014). Thirty six children were recruited, twenty of them were males and sixteen were females; most of the children were closer to 3 years of age (34 months) (Jenkins & Berthier, 2014). The way these subjects were recruited was via telephone calls and letters from birth state records that were found (Jenkins & Berthier, 2014). The purpose of this study was to determine which type of test helped increase memory retention in toddlers. There were four types of test, the door task, three boxes-stationary task, three boxes scrambled, and the three pegs task (Jenkins & Berthier, 2014). Three of these tests were working memory tasks and one was an inhibitory/cognitive control test. The first test that was given was the door task; in this task children were asked to sit in front of an item or electronic device that consisted of a pathway where balls could be rolled down into different slots. A barrier was included to mislead the child and test the memory of what slot the ball went into (Jenkins & Berthier, 2014). They were then instructed to search or point at where the hidden ball had landed. The second test was called three boxes stationary task. This test asked the infants to select a box of their choice that contained certain treats (Jenkins & Berthier, 2014). The child kept getting distracted as the researcher pulled away the boxes and brought them back to his/her attention to choose the right box where the treat was in; along with this test the child was provided with feedback (Jenkins & Berthier, 2014). The third test was similar to the second test; the only difference was that the boxes were scrambled. The last test consisted of a three peg task, this measured inhibitory control, in this test children were asked to identify pegs. The results of this study found that the inhibitory control test was the most effective in allowing the child to remember things. The improvements were found due to an increase in attention and reaction time (Jenkins & Berthier, 2014). Most of these tasks involved analyzing a part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex.


  1. ^ Jenkins, I., & Berthier, N. (2014). Working memory and inhibitory control in visually guided manual search in toddlers. Developmental Psychobiology. doi:10.1002/dev.21205