Kosslyn Laboratory MiniCog and MiniCog Rapid Assessment Battery (MRAB)

MiniCog.prc (Palm OS application) and MiniCogWriter (Mac and Windows desktop scripting application) make up a (beta) software package (just MiniCog, for short) for scripting psychological tasks to run on a Palm OS PDA. The MiniCog Rapid Assessment Battery (MRAB) is a package of nine short cognitive tests (in the domains of attention, executive function, and problem-solving) that runs in MiniCog. For a description of the software and MRAB tests, please see the two (PDF) articles linked below.

An alpha version of MiniCog for Windows-Mobile "Pocket PCs" was implemented, but has known bugs and was not extensively tested; eight of the MRAB tests (all but Cognitive-Set-Switching [CSS]) were implemented for the Windows-Mobile version of MiniCog.

MiniCog/MRAB research was halted by the Kosslyn Laboratory due to lack of funding in 2006, and we do not provide active support of the task battery or software package. This means the software has not been tested on newer PDAs, and may not be compatible with them, and we cannot help with troubleshooting.

A pre-employment screening company, Criteria Corporation, has licensed the software from Harvard and developed a web-based version of the MRAB tasks as part of their portfolio of assessments. This online commercial suite is the only available current version of the tasks.

Non-profit academic researchers (who have access to older PDAs like the Palm Tungsten C or Dell Axim x51v) may still receive the free beta (or alpha) version of the software and tasks under an academic licensing arrangement. Please download, print, and sign 2 copies of the license agreement, and mail both copies with a brief cover letter describing your proposed research to Harvard's Office of Technology Development (address below). If the licensing office approves (they usually do, or will contact you with questions), we will then send you the software (free) as well as an executed copy of the agreement.

Dr. Grace Leung
Business Development Associate
Office of Technology Development
Holyoke Center, Suite 727 E
1350 Massachusetts Avenue
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138
USA

Shephard, J. M., and Kosslyn, S. M. (2005). The MiniCog Rapid Assessment Battery: Developing a "blood pressure cuff for the mind." Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 76(6, Suppl.), B192-B197.

Shephard, J. M., Kho, S., Chen, J., and Kosslyn, S. M. (2006). MiniCog: A method for administering psychological tests and experiments on a handheld personal digital assistant. Behavior Research Methods, 38, 648-655

pdb2csv (for Windows and for Mac OSX) is free program for converting PDB (palm database) files into CSV (aka comma-delimited text) files and vice versa.

MiniCog/MRAB User Manual

Site last updated 21 May 2012 (Webmaster).

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