Computational Modeling of Neuropsychological Test Performance to Disentangle Impaired Cognitive Processes in Cancer Patients.


There is a need to better identify impaired cognitive processes to increase our understanding of cognitive dysfunction caused by cancer and cancer treatment and to improve interventions. The Trail Making Test is frequently used for evaluating information-processing speed (part A) and executive function (part B), but interpretation of its outcomes is challenging because performance depends on many cognitive processes. To disentangle processes, we collected high-resolution data from 192 non-central nervous system cancer patients who received systemic therapy and 192 cancer-free control participants and fitted a Shifted-Wald computational model. Results show that cancer patients were more cautious than controls (Cohen d = 0.16). Patients were cognitively slower than controls when the task required task switching (Cohen d = 0.16). Our results support the idea that cancer and cancer treatment accelerate cognitive aging. Our approach allows more precise assessment of cognitive dysfunction in cancer patients and can be extended to other instruments and patient populations.

More about this publication

Journal of the National Cancer Institute
  • Volume 113
  • Issue nr. 1
  • Pages 99-102
  • Publication date 04-01-2021

This site uses cookies

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.