How To Create A Cognitive Baseline Test

Creating an effective cognitive baseline test is essential in measuring an individual's current cognitive capacities, particularly when tailoring training to their specific needs.

How To Create A Cognitive Baseline Test

Creating an effective cognitive baseline test is essential in measuring an individual's current cognitive capacities, particularly when tailoring training to their specific needs. This help center article outlines a structured approach for setting up this foundational assessment.

Test Duration

The duration of the baseline test is critical. We recommend a minimum of 30 minutes to ensure a comprehensive evaluation of cognitive abilities. A test that's too brief can lead to inadequate data collection, which may affect the quality of the results and hinder informed decision-making. Additionally, a baseline test that's too short may not sufficiently challenge the athlete, resulting in an inaccurate assessment of their capabilities.

Task Selection

Selecting the right tasks is crucial. Choose between three to six tasks that closely align with the cognitive demands you aim to address. These tasks should form the core of your baseline assessment.

Choosing the Right Tasks

With a myriad of options available, selecting the appropriate tasks for the baseline can be daunting. The key is to choose tasks that align with the specific cognitive demand you're targeting. Don't overcomplicate this process. The most critical aspect is to ensure that the task possesses adequate cognitive load. A task that's too easy, too short, or lacks sufficient cognitive load won't effectively induce fatigue or stress, which is vital for an accurate baseline assessment.

Customizing Tasks with Soma Training Modes

For instance, if your baseline focuses on decision-making skills and you select a task like visual choice, you might find the basic version of this task too simple. To increase its demand, you could have the athlete perform it while maintaining a heart rate in zone 4. This customization adds difficulty, making the task more challenging and suitable for the baseline. Alternatively, you could use Soma's adaptive mode to increase the task's intensity as the athlete improves. 

The goal is to ensure that the task is demanding enough to create a substantial cognitive load.

Training Modes 



Key Points

Audiovisual Modes

Offers real-time feedback on performance.

Shapes decision-making behavior. Use for feedback or influencing decision-making.

EDM Mode

Enhances error detection and monitoring.

Measures reaction time post-error. 

Longer EDM reaction time suggests deliberate error correction.

Reducing gap between regular and EDM reaction time indicates improvement.

CSQ Mode

Enhances mental resilience.

Red timer bar indicates an error, adding 15s penalty. Further errors add more penalties.

DRT Mode

Evaluates cognitive effort and attentional resources.

Slower DRT reaction time indicates high cognitive load, while faster indicates low load.

TTE Mode

Increases cognitive challenge over time.

Begins with a 3-min test. Task ends if reaction time exceeds a set threshold.

VPF Mode

Enhances reaction time, concentration, and consistency.

Encourages a response time variation of -/+ 10% for correct responses.

ADM Mode

Adjusts cognitive challenge based on performance.

Aligns tasks with current cognitive capacity.

HRZ Mode

Maintains a specific heart rate zone during training.

Pauses task if heart rate deviates from the zone.

CEM Mode

Integrates heart rate into the cognitive task.

Requires physical exertion to reach a target heart rate.

AHR Mode

Guides users through heart rate zones during training.

Pauses task if heart rate deviates from the zone.

AHV Mode

Adjusts based on heart rate variability (HRV).

Challenge rises with increasing HRV and decreases as HRV drops.

TSM Mode

Introduces a secondary cognitive task.

'Task-switching' challenge that evaluates cognitive agility.

DPM Mode

Monitors shifts in performance, providing feedback on declines.

Pink feedback bar indicates a performance drop; its length varies with the degree of decline.

PCM Mode

Requires a sprint after each incorrect response.

Heart rate must reach Zone 4 and stay for 5s+ after each error.

TPM Mode

Introduces time constraints to responses.

Imposes time pressure. Increases pressure as user improves.

Reassessment for Progress Analysis

Finally, at the end of the training cycle, it's important to reassess the athlete using the same baseline test. This allows you to measure progress effectively, highlighting areas of improvement and identifying aspects that may still need attention.


By following these steps and utilizing the tools available in Soma, you can create a cognitive baseline test that is both challenging and tailored to the individual's needs. This baseline will serve as a crucial benchmark in your cognitive training program, allowing for precise tracking of progress and adjustments to the training plan as needed.

Cognitive Tasks

Below is a list of cognitive tasks, categorized by their main cognitive demand. While each task involves multiple skills, the classification emphasizes the most significant one.

Attention (26 Tasks)

  1. PFTT
  2. Posner
  3. Double Mackworth
  4. Recovery
  5. PVT-B
  6. Attention Switching
  7. 0 Back
  8. AX-CPT 💬
  9. Congruent Stroop Test 💬
  10. Dynamic Fusion
  11. Anticipation
  12. Congruent Stroop Test
  13. Box Breathing
  14. PVT
  15. Fusion
  16. Detailed Vision Zone
  17. Detailed Vision Zone
  18. Time Perception
  19. Eye Hand Coordination
  20. Multi Object Training
  21. AX-CPT
  22. Mackworth Clock
  23. RVIP
  24. 4 Choice Reaction
  25. Audio Reaction Test
  26. Visual Reaction Test

Inhibition (39 Tasks)

  1. Spatial Stroop
  2. Dots Task
  3. cMSIT
  4. Simon Task
  5. Flanker Compatibility
  6. MSIT
  7. Incongruent Flanker 💬
  8. MSIT 💬
  9. Switched Attention Test 💬
  10. Numerical Inhibition 💬
  11. Visual Choice Go No Go 💬
  12. Inverted Stroop Test 💬
  13. Stroop Test 💬
  14. Go No Go Visual Test 💬
  15. Numerical Inhibition
  16. AV Choice Go No Go
  17. Visual Choice Go No Go
  18. Audio Choice Go No Go
  19. Sustained Attention
  20. Incongruent Flanker
  21. Switched Stop Audio
  22. Switched Stop Visual
  23. Inverted Stroop Test
  24. Audio Stop Signal
  25. Visual Stop Signal
  26. Tactile Motor Go No Go
  27. Tactile Motor Go No Go
  28. Dynamic Vision Trainer
  29. AV Motor Go No Go
  30. AV Motor Go No Go
  31. Audio Motor Go No Go
  32. Audio Motor Go No Go
  33. Visual Motor Go No Go
  34. Visual Motor Go No Go
  35. Switched Attention Test
  36. Stroop Test
  37. Go No Go Audio Test
  38. Go No Go Visual Test
  39. Visual Inhibition

Decision (7 Tasks)

  1. AV Choice 💬
  2. Visual Search
  3. AV Choice
  4. Audio Choice Test
  5. Visual Choice Test
  6. Audio Choice Test
  7. Visual Choice Test

Memory (12 Tasks)

  1. 4 Choice Flanker
  2. Colour Shape Task
  3. PVSAT
  4. Visual Digit Span
  5. 2 Back
  6. TLDB
  7. PASAT 💬
  8. PASAT
  9. Task Switching 💬
  10. Spatial Span
  11. Tachistoscope
  12. Task Switching

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