Executive function

Stop Signal Task (SST)

The Stop Signal Task is a unique version of a classic approach to measuring response inhibition (impulse control).

Executive function tasks

Task format

The participant must respond to an arrow stimulus, by selecting one of two options, depending on the direction in which the arrow points. If an audio tone is present, the subject must withhold making that response (inhibition). The test consists of two parts: In the first part, the participant is introduced to the test and told to select the left-hand button when they see a left-pointing arrow and the right-hand button when they see a right-pointing arrow. There is one block of 16 trials for the participant to practice this. In the second part, the participant is told to continue selecting the buttons when they see the arrows but, if they hear an auditory signal (a beep), they should withhold their response and not select the button. The task uses a staircase design for the stop signal delay (SSD), allowing the task to adapt to the performance of the participant, narrowing in on the 50% success rate for inhibition.

CANTAB® cognitive assessments

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Stop Signal Task (SST)

Outcome measures

Outcome measures cover direction errors, proportion of successful stops, reaction time on Go trials, and stop signal reaction time (SSRT).

Recommended use

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

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