Halstead-Reitan neuropsychological battery: what it is and how it is used

Neuropsychological batteries encompass a series of tests and trials that assess different neuropsychological functions, such as perceptual organization, visual function, language, motor skills, perception, writing, etc.

In this article we will know the Halstead-Reitan neuropsychological battery (HRNTB), A tool of the American current. We will explain its most important features and analyze the 9 tests it includes.

    Halstead-Reitan neuropsychological battery: what it is and its characteristics

    The Halstead-Reitan neuropsychological battery (HRNTB) comes from the American current. Unlike the European current (with the Luria battery as a typical test), which focuses on a qualitative assessment, the American focuses on a quantitative assessment.

    This battery constitutes, next to the Neuropsychological Battery of Luria-Nebraska (LNNB), one of the most advanced tests to determine whether or not there is organic brain damage. Moreover, the two make it possible to determine quite precisely the localization of this damage if it exists.

    What are you evaluating?

    The Halstead-Reitan neuropsychological battery applies to subjects over 15 years old, And is used to detect neurological and psychiatric disorders, based on the assessment of a wide variety of neuropsychological functions.

    It allows to analyze the verbal, manipulative, sequential and spatial capacities of the individual, among others. The results obtained also make it possible to differentiate subjects with brain lesions from healthy subjects.

    On the other hand, the Halstead-Reitan neuropsychological battery includes an impairment index which encompasses the first 5 tests (of categories, tactile execution, rhythm, sound perception and beats), and which we will see later. If the subject scores less than 0.4, this is considered a sign of brain damage.

    The tests that are part of it

    The battery consists of 9 different tests or tests, which are its parts. We will see them below.

    1. Category test

    The first test or test of the Halstead-Reitan neuropsychological battery examines the subject’s ability to establish general principles from the experience provided by the relevant information.

    2. Touch execution test

    It’s a test explores subject speed and motor coordination. In this test, 10 different figures are superimposed (each in a vacuum).

    The task is to insert a given figure into the corresponding hole or space, blindfolded. First, the candidate must perform the task using their “favorite” hand, then the other. Finally, use both.

    3. Seaside rhythm test

    The Seashore test assesses non-verbal auditory perception, sustained attention and concentration. These functions are altered in some brain lesions.

    The test includes 30 sounds; each consists of 2 rhythmic patterns. The subject’s task is to indicate, for each element, whether the patterns are the same or different from each other. The score of this test is based on the number of errors made during its application.

    4. Sound perception test (or meaningless words)

    The fourth test assesses audio-verbal perception and attention. It consists of 6 parts; each consists of 10 elements. In each element, the candidate listens to a meaningless word through a tape; this must be recognized among the 4 that make up each element (they are presented in writing to the subject).

    5. Hit test

    assess coordination of speed and motor in right and left hand. In other words, it is an engine speed test. The subject should use his index finger to press a lever connected to a manual counter.

    6. Indiana-Reitan Aphasia Test

    It’s a test is indicated to assess expressive or receptive language disorders, deficits in reading and writing processes and numerical calculation. It consists of 42 elements.

      7. Sensory-perceptual examination

      The seventh test of the Halstead-Reitan neuropsychological battery assesses tactile perception using numbers and objects, as well as visual and auditory perception.

      It consists of: perception with bilateral stimulation, recognition of the finger by tactile stimulation, perception of numbers written on the fingertips and tactile recognition of shapes such as a square, a cross or a triangle.

      8. Lateral dominance

      assess lateral dominance of the hand, foot and eye (What are the dominants). It also analyzes the capabilities of the non-dominant hand.

      9. Trace test

      The latest Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Battery test assesses the ability to understand numbers and letters, as well as the ability to scan (on a sheet of paper), processing speed and cognitive flexibility.

      It consists of two parts, A and B. Part A consists of 25 circles distributed on a sheet, numbered 1 to 25. The candidate is asked to connect the circles, as quickly as possible. Possible, by drawing a line between them (in numerical order).

      Part B is also made up of 25 circles, this time containing numbers and letters. The goal is to alternate letters and numbers in numerical and alphabetical order (ie A1, B2, C3, …), until all the circles are joined.

      Neuropsychological functioning

      As we have seen, the Halstead-Reitan neuropsychological battery globally assesses the neuropsychological functioning of the individual. But what does this operation involve? In reality, it alludes to the brain’s ability to process, interpret and manage information coming from outside and received by the senses.

      Specifically, the battery is particularly useful for assessing people with a certain type of brain injury (or with suspicion). In addition, it provides useful information on the possible cause of the damage.

      In addition to this information, information relating to the severity of the impairment and “strong” or intact areas or brain functions may be useful in designing appropriate cognitive neurorehabilitation plans for each patient.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Ávila, A. (1997). Assessment in clinical psychology I and II. Ed. Amarú. Salamanca.
      • Bausela, I. (2008). Neuropsychological assessment in the adult population: neuropsychological areas, instruments and batteries. Tower. Reflections, 87 (2): 163-174.
      • Cohen, RJ, Swerdlik, ME (2002) Psychological Testing and Assessment. McGraw-Hill. Madrid.

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