Executive function

Stockings of Cambridge (SOC)

Stockings of Cambridge (SOC) is a test of spatial planning that requires individuals to use problem-solving strategies to match two sets of stimuli.

Executive function tasks

Task format

The participant is shown two displays. In each of these displays, three stockings – containing three coloured balls – are suspended from a beam. The two displays appear at the top and bottom of the screen. The balls are arranged in different patterns in each display.

The participant must move the balls in the bottom display to copy the pattern shown in the top display. The balls are moved one at a time by selecting the required ball, then selecting the position to which it should be moved. The participant is instructed to make as few moves as possible to match the two patterns.

Movement time is discounted in a distinct phase of task, in which participants simply copy moves made by the computer. The moves shown by the computer mimic the moves the participant made when originally solving the problem.

Outcome measures

Outcome measures include the problem difficulty level reached, mean moves used and thinking time.

Recommended use

We would recommend using this test to assess cognitive function in:

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