Comparison of the continuous performance test with and without working memory demands in healthy controls and patients with schizophrenia

Matthew M. Kurtz, John D Ragland, Warren Bilker, Ruben C. Gur, Raquel E. Gur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

103 Scopus citations


The Penn Continuous Performance Test (PCPT), a measure of sustained visual attention developed for use in functional neuroimaging studies, was compared with a standard CPT developed by Gordon Diagnostic Systems (GDS; Vigilance subtest). The PCPT and the GDS CPT were administered with a standard neuropsychological battery to 68 healthy adults to assess reliability and construct validity. The test had adequate internal consistency, and convergent validity was established through significant correlations between measures of efficiency on the PCPT and the GDS CPT. With the exception of a significant correlation between efficiency measures on the GDS CPT and a measure of auditory sustained attention, neither version of the CPT correlated significantly with other measures in the battery. Factor analysis showed that the PCPT loaded with the GDS CPT. In 39 patients with schizophrenia and 39 matched, healthy controls, equivalent impairment was evident on the two CPT tasks. Neither version correlated significantly with symptom measurements. These results support previous conclusions that sustained visual attention in schizophrenia is a core information processing deficit, not directly related to symptomatology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-316
Number of pages10
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Mar 30 2001
Externally publishedYes



  • Construct validity
  • Continuous Performance Test
  • Schizophrenia
  • Symptom scales

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Neurology
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this