Abstract

Objective: The Halstead Category Test (HCT) is a nonverbal test that measures a person's ability to formulate abstract principles and can be used to assess cognitive executive frontal lobe function. Traditionally, only a single score is extracted from the test (the total number of errors), which limits its use. In an attempt to overcome this limitation, a number of additional scales have been developed to assess specific aspects of executive function. This work presents preliminary data towards the establishment of Portuguese norms of the HCT and the additional scales, using a sample without history of neurological damage. Method: 402 participants were tested with a computerized version of the HCT, 32.3% males and 67.7% females, with ages ranging from 18 to 62 years. Descriptive data for male and female participants, divided by four age classes, are reported for the Total Number of Errors, Category Acquisition Scale, Set Loss Scales (Attention and Conceptual), Perseveration Scale, Spatial Positional Reasoning and Proportional Reasoning Scales, and Memory Scale. Results: Globally, women had a lower performance level compared to men, although the difference is not significant for all scores. Statistical analyses considering sex and age indicated a significant decline on almost all indicators for female participants from 18–30 years-old to 31–40 years-old, which then stabilized. Total Number of Errors, however, showed a significant increase after 51 years-old. Male participants, on the other hand, only had a significant drop in performance on the various indices from 51 years-old onwards. Conculsion(s): Additional data analyses on the remaining normative sample, and the potential of clinical use of these norms, is discussed.