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Sharon Cameron, Helen Glyde, Harvey Dillon and Jessica Whitfield
The purpose of this pilot study was to develop and evaluate a test of processing speed that utilizes verbal stimuli - the Auditory Processing Speed Test (A-PST). Participants were 174 school children aged 6 to 12 years, who were required to respond to verbally-presented target stimuli and ignore foils. Inter-stimulus interval was adjusted adaptively. Younger children had significantly slower average processing speed (APS) than older children (p<0.0000001, range 39 to 59 words per minute (wpm)). For each one year increase in age, processing speed increased by 4 wpm. Reaction time did not limit performance on the A-PST. However, impulsivity was a significant predictor of processing speed, with each 1 standard deviation (SD) increase in impulsivity resulting in a 0.47 SD increase in APS in wpm. Changes to the adaptive procedure of the A-PST to resolve the impact of impulsivity are discussed together with directions for future research.