Kinarm Standard Tests

To accompany and supplement their interactive robotics systems, Kinarm has developed a range of  Kinarm Standard Tests (KST) that have been created specifically to provide researchers with an objective and sensitive approach to quantify cognitive, motor, and sensory functions through the precise measurement of human behaviour (behaviourography).

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Kinarm Standard Tests

Kinarm Standard Tests

The KST range comprises a suite of standardised protocols, allowing a clinical researcher to conduct a broad-based assessment of brain function in a very short period (~30-60 minutes, dependent on the tasks chosen and the severity of the subject's impairment). With these tests, KST is able to measure and identify subtle but statistically significant changes in the subject's performance, providing an essential change indicator to researchers developing targeted therapies for brain injury or disease.

Kinarm Labs allow clinical researchers to:

  • Differentiate – Identify subject-specific behavioural measures that uniquely characterise the subject’s neurological deficits
  • Select – Identify subjects for research protocols based on their deficit profile
  • Target – Design new patient-centred therapies to address the patient's specific impairments or disease
  • Measure – Collect objective data on the subject’s response to therapies
  • Advance – Translate treatments for brain injury from lab to the clinic.

Kinarm Standard Tests vary widely in complexity, with certain highly-complex tasks allowing the researcher to quantify how different brain circuits interact to generate purposeful behaviour, while other more simple tasks allow the researcher to isolate specific brain functions in order to help pinpoint specific impairments.

Each task within the KST has been engineered specifically to require only very simple instructions for the patient/subject and to be short in duration while still delivering insightful results. The analysis of the data collected by the KST produces parameters that demonstrate face validity; are repeatable and responsive; provide continuous measures of performance, and help to minimise the aforementioned floor and ceiling effects.

While all of the Kinarm Standard Tests were developed specifically for use in adults, Dexterit-E™ (Kinarm Lab's Operating & Control Software) now also includes a full range of child-friendly protocols as standard. Normative models have been developed for subjects aged 18-85 years old for adult protocols. While adult-sized individuals under 18 years old are able to perform these protocols, their Z-scores are calculated as though they were 18 years old; typical ranges of performance are not provided for this age group, but normative models are under development for these child protocols and are part of a future release of KST.

Kinarm Standard Tests are not indicated for subjects who do not have adequate cognitive function to understand task instructions, and/or who do not have visual and/or auditory acuity to permit adequate perception of instructions or task stimuli.

Details on each task, parameters and exemplary reports are available in the KST Summary available for download on the Kinarm website.   All tests have been published in leading, peer-reviewed publications (Bourke et al, 2016; Lowrey et al, 2014; Hawkins et al, 2015; Tyryshkin et al, 2014; Semrau et al, 2013, Dukelow et al, 2010; Coderre et al, 2010.)   The original citation(s) used in the design of each task are listed on the Publications page of Kinarm’s website.

Kinarm Standard Tests™


Behavioural Task

Brain Function



Reverse Visually Guided Reaching

Subject reaches from a central target to a peripheral target where the visual feedback is reversed compared to the actual hand position.

Cognitive control of visuomotor skills Inhibitory control Attention

3.5 min/arm

Object Hit & Avoid

Subject hits away targets with either hand and avoids distractors. Speed and number of objects increase with time.

Rapid motor decisions

Inhibitory control

Spatial attention

2.5 min

Trails A&B

Trail A: trace a sequence of targets numbered 1 to 25; Trail B:  trace alternating numeric-alpha sequence of targets 1-A-2-B etc.

Executive function: task switching

2.5 min

Spatial Span


Sequence of squares displayed; subject replays sequence by reaching to the appropriate squares in sequence.

Visuospatial working memory

5.5 min

Paired-Associates Learning*

Images shown in spatial locations then hidden. Upon presentation of an image, subject must indicate the spatial location of the hidden image. *3.9 task only

Visuospatial working memory

5 min


Visually Guided Reaching


Subject reaches from a central target to a peripheral target.

Visuomotor skills

Multi-joint coordination

2 min/arm

Object Hit


Subject hits away balls with either hand. Speed and number of balls increase with time. 

Rapid visuomotor skills

Spatial skills

2.5 min

Ball on Bar



Subject moves a virtual ball balanced on a bar held by both hands to spatial targets.

Bimanual coordination

Visuomotor skills

3.5 min

Arm Posture Perturbation


Subject maintains hand at target and returns to the target after an unexpected disturbance.

Goal-directed motor corrections

2 min/arm

Elbow Stretch


Subject relaxes; robot extends and flexes the elbow repeatedly (Exo only).

Assess presence of spasticity and high tone

5 min/arm


Arm Position Matching

Robot moves one arm; the subject mirror-matches position with their other arm.

Somatosensation: position sense

3 min/arm

Arm Movement Matching



Robot moves one arm; the subject mirror-matches movement with their other arm.

Somatosensation: kinesthesia

3 min/arm

Compatible Products

This product can be used in combination with some of our other systems. Find out more by selecting one from the list below.

Associated Techniques

To find out more about the techniques that are applicable to this product, follow the links below.

Added Value

In addition to supplying and supporting a wide range of neuroscience products, Brainbox offers additional value in a number of areas that can benefit our customers, including:

Installation, Product Training, Technique Training, Bespoke Training

Lab Support
System Upgrades, Testing, Calibration, System Integration, Bespoke Solutions

Research Support
Study Design, Piloting, Technical Information, References

Grant Applications, Industrial Projects, Workshops

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