Abstract

Objective: The block-tapping technique, proposed by Corsi is a widely used method for estimating nonverbal short-term memory. This study examines the performance of Corsi Block Tapping Test in a normative adult sample in Estonia, and assesses the effect of different demographic variables to the test scores. Method: The sample includes 377 subjects (202 women, 175 men) with mean age of 51.2 years (range 19–93) and mean education of 13.9 school years (range 5–24 years). All subjects were healthy with no reported neurologic or psychiatric complications. All subjects were administered an adapted version of Corsi block-tapping test. They were presented a block board and asked to repeat a sequence of tapping positions in increasing length in both forward and backward condition. Results: Both forward and backward conditions gave similar results (M = 7.96, SD = 1.73 for forward and M = 7.04, SD = 1.94 for backward conditions respectively). The effect of demographic variables was assessed with multiple regression: F(3, 373) = 56.86, p < .0000001. Full score (forward and backward conditions added) was influenced by age, t(373) = −10.6, p < .0000001, education, t(373) = 3.4, p < .0007, and sex, t(373) = 2.3, p < .02. Conclusion(s): The Corsi test is a useful method for the assessment of non-verbal short-term memory. The processing components for the forward and backward conditions are similar and both conditions probably assess general working memory function. The effect of demographic variables should be considered when using Corsi Block Tapping Test in clinical assessment.