Test-retest reliability and effects of repeated testing and satiety on performance of an Emotional Test Battery.
Thomas JM., Higgs S., Dourish CT.
The P1vital® Oxford Emotional Test Battery (ETB) comprises five computerized tasks designed to assess cognition and emotional processing in human participants. It has been used in between-subjects experimental designs; however, it is unclear whether the battery can be used in crossover designs. This is of particular importance given the increasing use of ETB tasks for repeated assessment of depressed patients in clinical trials and clinical practice. In addition, although satiety state has been reported to affect performance on some cognitive and emotional tasks, it is not known whether it can influence performance on the ETB. Two studies explored these issues. In Experiment 1, 30 healthy women were tested on the ETB on 4 separate occasions (each a week apart) in a within-subjects design. In Experiment 2, another 30 healthy women were randomized to either a satiated or a hungry condition, where they were given an ad libitum lunch of cheese sandwiches, before (satiated) or after (hungry) they were asked to complete the ETB. Experiment 1 demonstrated good test-retest reliability for the ETB. One of the tasks was free from practice effects, whilst performance on the other four tasks stabilized after the first two sessions. In Experiment 2, eating to satiety only affected performance on a single ETB task. These results suggest that the ETB can be used in crossover designs after two initial training sessions. Further, as a robust satiety manipulation had only a limited effect on a single ETB task, it is unlikely that appetitive state will confound ETB performance.