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How were the tests created?
How were the tests created?

A brief history of the BrainLabs tests.

Mike Battista avatar
Written by Mike Battista
Updated over a week ago

The tests included in BrainLabs are improved versions of tests used for decades in cognitive psychology and neuroscience research.

For example, Double Trouble relies on an effect discovered in the 1930s by John Ridley Stroop (Stroop, 1935). Since then, tests based on the Stroop Effect have been widely used in cognitive science and clinical applications. We created a version of the test compatible with modern technology, and made it even harder, in order to better challenge cognition and bring out differences in performance.

The other tests have a similar mix of historical significance, validation through research, and our own unique twists to make them even more useful. Discover the science behind each test in our Test FAQs.

Our versions of the tests have been used in many groundbreaking scientific studies. They have proven to be sensitive to differences between people, and to changes in one person's lifestyle. They have also been shown to tap into distinct brain networks that underlie the different facets of intelligence (Hampshire et al., 2012).

The complete set of BrainLabs tests was designed to use the smallest possible number of tests to assess the broadest range of cognitive skills that contribute to intelligence. The tests have been referred to as the "12 pillars of wisdom" (Owen & Highfield, 2010). Decades of research have led up to the current test designs, and validated them as the most accurate and sensitive tests of cognition available today.


  • Hampshire, A., Highfield, R. R., Parkin, B. L., & Owen, A. M. (2012). Fractionating human intelligence. Neuron, 76, 1-13. Download PDF

  • Owen, A. M., & Highfield, R. (2010). The 12 pillars of wisdom: understanding intelligence. The New Scientist, 208, 38-43. Read Article

  • Stroop, J. R. (1935). Studies of interference in serial verbal reactions. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 18, 643-662. Read Article

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