Concurrent validity of the tower tasks as measures of executive function in adults: A meta-analysis

Jeremy R. Sullivan, Cynthia A. Riccio, Christine L. Castillo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Executive function refers to a variety of behaviors and abilities related to planning and strategy use, as well as to the maintenance of attention and behavior in the pursuit of some goal. Many instruments have been designed for the purpose of assessing executive function, and the tower tasks represent a specific group of measures commonly used in the assessment of this construct. This review and meta-analysis examines the theoretical and psychometric basis for the use of the various tower tasks in neuropsychological assessment of adults. Neuroimaging and electrophysiological evidence are consistent with theoretical hypotheses of frontal involvement (e.g., planning and strategy use) in tower task performance. Further, adults with various disorders of presumed neurological basis demonstrate impaired performance on tower tasks. Implications for the use of tower tasks in practice and research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-75
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Neuropsychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009


  • Adulthood
  • Assessment
  • Executive function
  • Frontal lobes
  • Tower tasks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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