Naturalistic Action Test

The NAT is a clinical assessment of learned, sequential, object-oriented behavior in the service of everyday goals (i.e., multi-step or naturalistic action).

Participants perform three tasks under controlled laboratory conditions: make toast and coffee; gift-wrap a present; and, pack a child’s lunchbox and schoolbag. Their performance is scored for accuracy and a variety of error types.

The NAT, and its predecessor, the Multi-level Action Test (MLAT), have been used to characterize how naturalistic action is impacted by neurological conditions such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT), and left and right hemisphere stroke.

The data obtained from the NAT has entered into theoretical debates on the cognitive requirements of routine action, the nature of semantic memory for objects, and the meaning of ideational apraxia.

(Note: Downloads below.)

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Buxbaum, L.J., Schwartz, M.F., & Montgomery, M.W. (1998). Ideational apraxia and naturalistic action. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 15, 617-643.

Giovannetti, T., Libon, D., J, Buxbaum, L., J, & Schwartz, M., F. (2001). Naturalistic action impairments in dementia. Neuropsychologia, in press.

Hart, T., Giovannetti, T. Montgomery, M.M. & Schwartz, M.F. (1998). Awareness of errors in naturalistic action after traumatic brain injury. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 13, 16-28. PMID 9753532

Schwartz, M. F. (1995). Re-examining the role of executive functions in routine action production. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 769, 321-335. PMID 8595035

Schwartz, M.F., Buxbaum, L.J., Montgomery, M.W., Fitzpatrick-DeSalme, E., Hart, T., Ferraro, M., Lee, S., & Coslett, H.B. (1999). Naturalistic action production following right hemisphere stroke. Neuropsychologia, 37, 51-66. PMID 9920471

Schwartz, M. F., Fitzpatrick-DeSalme, E. J., & Carew, T. G. (1995). The Multiple Objects Test for Ideational Apraxia: Etiology and task effects on error profiles. Abstract. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 1, 149.

Schwartz, M.F., Segal, M., Veramonti, T., Ferraro, M., & Buxbaum, L.J. The Naturalistic Action Test : A standardized assessment for everyday-action impairment. Under review.

Schwartz, M.F., Montgomery, M., Buxbaum, L.J., Lee, S., Carew, T.G., Coslett, H.B., Ferraro, M., Fitzpatrick-DeSalme, E., Hart, T., & Mayer, N. (1998). Naturalistic action impairment in closed head injury. Neuropsychology, 12(1), 13-28. PMID 9460731

Schwartz, M. F., Reed, E. S., Montgomery, M. W., Palmer, C., & Mayer, M. H. (1991). The quantitative description of action disorganization after brain damage: A case study. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 8, 381-414.

Wilson, B., Cockburn, J, Halligan, P. (1987). Behavioral Inattention Test. Bury St. Edmunds, England: Thames Valley Test Company

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The NAT download consists of the following four files:

  • NAT Manual.pdf
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  • NAT Score.pdf
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  • Comprehensive Error Score.pdf
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  • Lateralized Attention Score.pdf
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