By Antoine Bechara, PhD
Purpose: Evaluates decision making mediated by the prefrontal cortex
Age range: 8 years to 79 years
Time: 5-10 minutes
Qualification Level: A
The IGT2 is a computerized assessment that assists in the evaluation of decision making. This revision reflects a downward age extension to age 8 years, allowing for use throughout the life span.
The software tracks the examinee’s selection of advantageous and disadvantageous cards from four decks and is ideal for assessing patients who exhibit poor decision-making skills in the presence of otherwise normal or unaffected intelligence because of head injury or insult or any other condition thought to affect the function of the prefrontal cortex.
It features a real-time gambling task that resembles real-world situations. The task factors reward and punishment—the winning and losing of money—in such a way that it creates a conflict between immediate reward and delayed punishment, engaging the participant in a quest to make advantageous choices. As in real life, the task offers choices that may be risky, but there is no obvious indication of how, when, or what to choose. The only way an individual can do well on this task is to follow his or her intuition.
Features and benefits
- Immediate results. The task is carried out in real time; the program can generate a Score Report and T-score and raw score profiles as soon as the examinee has finished the task.
- Customizable. Several optional settings can be customized by the examiner prior to administration, including number of trials (i.e., card selections), inter-trial interval, type of currency, and starting amount of money.
- Flexible. Two export formats are available, enabling flexibility with data management. In addition, the program’s import feature enables you to import data from previous versions of the IGT.
- The IGT2 produces a total net score and net scores for each block of 20 cards/trials. In addition, you can examine the total number of cards selected from each deck and the total amount of money won. A trial-by-trial table displays deck choice, amount won, amount lost, total money, and time for each trial.
- Normative scores are produced automatically; you can compare the examinee’s scores to those of a demographically corrected sample or to those of a U.S. Census-matched sample.
The original IGT has been used in studies examining decision-making capacity in a variety of populations, including individuals with focal brain lesions, substance addiction, chronic pain, aggression disorders, and Huntington’s disease.