product number: 5594071
The Visual Association Test (VAT) is designed to detect anterograde amnesia and certain brain disorders it is connected with.
Individuals aged 16 to 85 years
English, Dutch, and German
The main conditions leading to anterograde amnesia are the following:
- Alzheimer's disease: Memory loss develops insidiously and usually reaches a high degree of severity before impairment of other cognitive functions becomes apparent. Although memory impairment is also common in other forms of dementia, it is much less likely to assume the form of anterograde amnesia at an early stage.
- Korsakoff's syndrome: Acute and irreversible, usually as a sequel of vitamin deficiency in chronic alcoholism.
- Infarction in the region of the posterior cerebral artery:The amnesia is lasting and onset is sudden, though often unnoticed.
- Post-traumatic amnesia: A period of memory loss following brain contusion. The amnesia may last from minutes to weeks, depending on the severity of the damage.
Application of the VAT is chiefly feasible when the patient – or persons in the patient’s environment – have noted serious forgetfulness, especially if it pertains to recent events. The VAT can, for instance, aid in answering the following questions:
- In cases with memory complaints of acute onset: Does the impairment have the characteristics of an amnesic syndrome?
- In cases hospitalised after traumatic brain damage: Is the patient (still) experiencing post-traumatic amnesia?
- In cases with memory problems of insidious onset: Are there indications of (preclinical) dementia, and if so, what type?
The VAT contains six variants: Short Forms A, B, C, and D (6 items each), and two Long Forms (12 items each: combinations of Short Forms A & B and Forms C & D). The four Short Form variants can be used as parallel tests.
The test consists of two picture booklets: association cards and cue cards. The cue cards depict only one object, while the association cards show a combination of the cue and another object: the target object. In Forms A-D the cue cards are shown first, and subsequently the association cards. When the cue cards are shown again, the number of correctly reproduced target objects are noted on the scoring form. Internal consistency and test-retest reliability are high.
Validity research showed the VAT was able to discriminate between patients with Alzheimer’s dementia, other kinds of dementia, and no dementia.
Qualification level required:
Level 2. Please see our Test User Qualifications page for guidance
Short Forms: 65 to 85-year-olds (N = 204). Long Forms: 16 to 62-year-olds (N = 540).
Short Form administration time is approx. 10-15 minutes. Long Form administration time is approx. 20-25 minutes.