Protocol - Cognitive Flexibility (Dimensional Change Card Sort) - Children, Adolescents, and Adults
The Dimensional Change Card Sort (DCCS) Border Version is an iPad-administered task (by a research assistant) that measures the flexible use of rules to govern behavior as a means of providing an index of executive function development. DCCS is a measure of cognitive flexibility. Two target pictures are presented that vary along two dimensions (e.g., shape and color). Participants are asked to match a series of bivalent test pictures (e.g., yellow balls and blue trucks) to the target pictures, first according to one dimension (e.g., color) and then, after a number of trials, according to the other dimension (e.g., shape). “Switch” trials are also employed, in which the participant must change the dimension being matched. For example, after four straight trials matching on shape, the participant may be asked to match on color on the next trial and then go back to shape, thus requiring the cognitive flexibility to quickly choose the correct stimulus. Scoring is based on a combination of accuracy and reaction time. The DCCS task is a simplified version of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) that is available on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Toolbox, where investigators will need to pay a licensing fee. The DCCS is suitable for testing subjects between the ages of 3 and 85. This task has demonstrated superior test-retest reliability in adult populations Zelazo et al. (2014).
Summary of the Dimensional Change Card Sort (DCCS) Border Version
The DCCS Border Version makes use of two different styles of bivalent cards, displaying, for example, a red boat and blue rabbit. The test cards additionally have either no border or a black border.
The protocol consists of the research assistant preparing the administration on an iPad, where data are transmitted via the Internet to the Apple iCloud for download by the investigator.
Protocol Name from Source
Dimensional Change Card Sort (DCCS) Border Version
Personnel and Training Required
The assessor should be trained to respond in a neutral, nonevaluative, noncorrective manner during the task. The assessor should be trained in how to respond to hesitant or resistant behavior by the participant.
The iPad Air or iPad Air2 with Wi-Fi capacity that is running iOS version 8.4 or later.
|Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection||No|
|Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual||No|
Mode of Administration
Child, Adolescent, Adult
Adults and children aged 3 years or older
The Dimensional Change Card Sort (DCCS) is an easily administered and widely used measure of executive function.
|Common Data Elements (CDE)||Person Cognitive Flexibility Questionnaire Assessment Score||3371717||CDE Browser|
|Human Phenotype Ontology||Cognitive impairment||HP:0100543||HPO|
|Human Phenotype Ontology||Addictive behavior||HP:0030858||HPO|
Process and Review
The Expert Review Panel #3 (ERP 3) reviewed the measures in Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Substances, and Substance Abuse and Addiction domains.
Guidance from ERP 3 includes:
• No significant changes to measure
Back-compatible: NA no changes to Data Dictionary
Previous version in Toolkit archive (link)
Zelazo, P. D. (2006). The Dimensional Change Card Sort (DCCS): A method of assessing executive function in children. Nature Protocols, 1(1), 297-301. www.nihtoolbox.org
Errico, A. L., King, A. C., Lovallo, W. R., & Parsons, O. A. (2002). Cortisol dysregulation and cognitive impairments in abstinent male alcoholics. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 26(8), 1198-1204.
Klüber, A., Murphy, K., & Garavan, H. (2005). Cocaine dependence and attention switching within and between verbal and visuospatial working memory. European Journal of Neuroscience, 21, 1984-1992.
van der Plas, E. A., Crone, E. A., van den Wildenberg, W. P., Tranel, D., & Bechara, A. (2009). Executive control deficits in substance-dependent individuals: A comparison of alcohol, cocaine, and methamphetamine and of men and women. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 31(6), 706-719.
Verejo-García, A., Bechara, A., Recknor, E. C., & Pérez-García, M. (2006). Executive dysfunction in substance dependent individuals during drug use and abstinence: An examination of the behavioral, cognitive and emotional correlates of addiction. Journal of International Neuropsychological Society, 12,405-415.
|Variable Name||Variable ID||Variable Description||dbGaP Mapping|
|PX530101040000||Combined (Standard and Border version) score.||N/A|
|PX530101010000||Dimension used for sorting border cards.||N/A|
|PX530101020000||Number of cards correctly sorted: __________||N/A|
|PX530101030000||Standard and Border version administered?||N/A|
February 24, 2012
This measure assesses flexibility in detection and use of rules that govern behavior.
Cognitive flexibility is one component of the multidimensional construct "executive function." This measure provides a marker of the development of executive function. Substance use has been shown to correlate with deficits in both cognitive flexibility and other aspects of executive functioning.
Child, Cognitive Flexibility, DCCS, Dimensional Change Card Sort Border Version, Dimensional Change Card Sort Standard Version, Drug Abuse, Drug Use, Executive Function, Neuropsychiatry, NIH Toolbox, Substance Abuse, Substance Use, SAA, Substance Use-related Neurobehavioral and Cognitive Risk Factors