Reaction Time Test

The reaction time is the time that passes between the moment an event occurs and the instant there is a response to it. It is also called mental chronometry and it refers to the period that passes between the moment a person sees, feels, hears, or smells the stimuli and when they react to it. It can be affected by sensory accuracy, how quickly the brain can process the information, and the speed the information travels to and from the brain.

In the case of a visual reaction time test, the individual sees the event and the information has to travel from the eye along the optic nerves and sensory neurons to the brain. The brain has then to process the information and send a signal to the hand via motor neurons telling the muscles to click on the mouse. All this process accounts for the reaction time.

Mental chronometry is a method commonly used in cognitive psychology as a non-invasive strategy to analyze cognitive speed and to support brain-behavior research.

Instructions:

The following test is designed to assess how quickly you can react to a color change. 

You will see a red screen for a few seconds and you must click with your mouse on the test screen once it changes to green. The time the red screen is up changes each time, to keep you alert and prevent you from counting down when the green one will show up.

The test comprises a set of 5 questions, which means you can complete it in 5 clicks.

Your performance may be affected by the latency of the devices and screen/monitor that you are using. If possible, try to perform the test using a fast computer and a high frame rate screen/monitor.

Disclaimer:

This test is designed as an entertaining and educational tool. The results do not constitute a psychological or psychiatric evaluation of any kind and may not offer an accurate portrait of the mental fitness of the test taker. We do not guarantee the accuracy of the results and these should not be used as an indicator of the capacities of the individual for a specific purpose.
 
Responses may be recorded and used for research purposes or to be otherwise distributed. All responses are recorded anonymously. 

How to improve your reaction time

Practice and repeat

Through reaction time training it is possible to effectively reduce the time it takes to perceive an event and react to it. This can be done through cognitive training exercises.

These exercises strengthen the connection between the body and the brain, creating a sort of pathway that allows the information to travel faster. In practice, it is almost as if you remove the “buffering” part and turn what was a mental analysis into an automatic compulsion.

Take frequent breaks

Allow your nervous system to reset after each set of exercises. This will help you stay alert and fully focused for the following repetitions.

The reaction time tends to improve with each exercise, even if only marginally at first. However, if yours is increasing, it can be a sign that something else, like tiredness or frustration, is affecting your performance.

Block any distractions and keep calm

Learn to block any distractions to ensure that your brain is fully focused on the task at hand. This can only be achieved through practice. Meditation can also help.

The brain is always aware of its surroundings. If you cannot ignore the distractions, it means that it will be simultaneously processing the stimuli you want to react quickly to and a myriad of other stimuli around you, which in turn will affect your reaction time.

Warm-up your hands

Warming up helps to loosen the muscles and improves and quickens body performance. Right before a task or a reaction time test, warm up your hands and make sure your body is in active mode, but not tense enough to make it slower.

References:

1 Jensen, Arthur R. (2006), Clocking the Mind, Elsevier Science Ltd, ISBN 9780080449395. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-008044939-5/50001-X.

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