Arrow Flanker Test

This is a test of attention in the presence of distracting information. You see an array of five symbols. The central symbol is always an arrow, which points to the right or left. If the arrow points to the left, you should press the left arrow key on the computer keyboard, if it points to the right, press the right arrow key. The four symbols on either side of the central target arrow are celled flankers.

The flanker symbols can also be arrows. Sometimes they point in the same direction as the middle target arrow. So in this case you should press the right arrow key

Sometimes the flankers point in the opposite direction to the target. In the example on the right you should again press the RIGHT arrow key, ignoring the flankers.

This is a reaction time task, so you should always respond as quickly as possible, while avoiding errors. We record the reaction times averaged over the test, and the total number of errors. We also record reaction times separately for each type of stimulus. Reactions to the incongruent stimuli (where the flankers point in the opposite direction to the target) are slower than to congruent stimuli (where target and flankers point in the same direction. 

This test can be run on a tablet computer or a Java-enabled mobile phone. The test normally lasts about three minutes. The demo version is shorter, but will give you the idea. The demo requires Java to be enabled in your Browser.

Try out the arrow flanker demo

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