HANOIPC3

HANOIPC3: A computer program to evaluate executive functions. This article describes a computer program (HANOIPC3) based on the Tower of Hanoi game that, by analyzing a series of parameters during execution, allows a fast and accurate evaluation of data related to certain executive functions, especially planning, organizing and problem-solving. This computerized version has only one level of difficulty based on the use of 3 disks, but it stipulates an additional rule: only one disk may be moved at a time, and only to an adjacent peg (i.e., no peg can be skipped over). In the original version – without this stipulation – the minimum number of movements required to complete the task is 7, but under the conditions of this computerized version this increases to 26. HANOIPC3 has three important advantages: (1) it allows a researcher or clinician to modify the rules by adding or removing certain conditions, thus augmenting the utility and flexibility in test execution and the interpretation of results; (2) it allows to provide on-line feedback to subjects about their execution; and, (3) it creates a specific file to store the scores that correspond to the parameters obtained during trials. The parameters that can be measured include: latencies (time taken for each movement, measured in seconds), total test time, total number of movements, and the number of correct and incorrect movements. The efficacy and adaptability of this program has been confirmed.

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