Understanding the Cognitive Demands of the Purdue Pegboard Test: An fNIRs Study

Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1201)


To evaluate manual dexterity in clinical settings Purdue Pegboard test (PPT) is widely used and consists of four uni- and bi-manual sub-tests. The objective of this study is to deep dive into PPT and parse out the cognitive component of the subtests using functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS). The prefrontal cortex (PFC) of 16 participants was assessed using fNIRS technique while performing PPT. Repeated measures one-way ANOVA was performed on average ∆HbR and ∆HbO in PFC regions (left DLPFC, left vmPFC, right vmPFC, right DLPFC). A Bonferroni correction was used to account for multiple comparisons. Results from both outcome measures taken together showed that assembly sub-task uses significantly higher resources in the left PFC. The findings can be summarized as follows: PPT measures more than manual dexterity. Subtask complexity affects the cognitive demands in the PFC. The Assembly may be the most sensitive subtest to the changes in PFC activity.


fNIRS Purdue Pegboard Fine motor Cognitive 



We sincerely thank Hosein Bakhshipour for all his support and encouragement.


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biomechanics and Movement ScienceUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeuropsychologyKennedy Krieger InstituteBaltimoreUSA

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