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Are PASAT scores related to mathematical ability?

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Edward P. Chronicle
  • Nigel A. MacGregor
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>05/1998
<mark>Journal</mark>Neuropsychological Rehabilitation
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)273-282
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task (PASAT) is employed in neuropsychological practice as a test of divided attention. The influence of mathematical ability on PASAT performance was examined in 40 healthy subjects, 20 male and 20 female. An unpaced computerised task was developed to measure response times for the verification of visually-presented additions, subtractions, divisions, and multiplications. Response times were always strongly negatively correlated with PASAT scores, suggesting that high mental arithmetic ability may give rise to good PASAT performance. Furthermore, a significant percentage of the variability in PASAT scores was predicted by (1) recent attainment in school mathematics examinations, and (2) self-ratings of current mental arithmetic skills. It is suggested that mathematical attainment and ability should be taken into account when interpreting PASAT performance as a measure of divided attention.