Neuropsychological correlates of the bicycle drawing test
Zack Z Cernovsky, Larry C Litman
Objective: There is a need for psychological tools to assess cognitive functioning in illiterate or partly illiterate patients. Method: We examined neuropsychological correlates of scores on Luria's bicycle drawing test on a sample of 30 psychiatric patients (mean age =33.2, SD=15.3, 11 females, 19 males) referred for psychological testing. The test battery included the bicycle drawing test, the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory – III (MCMI3), Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices, WAIS Vocabulary Test, and Logical Memory subtests from Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised. We have developed our scoring system to separately rate 12 aspects of bicycle drawings, on a scale from 0 (= missing or unrecognizable) to 5 (= adequate, distinct): wheels, frame, handlebar, seat, pedals, chain, tires, brakes, fenders, bell, headlight, back reflector, and the connection of the wheel axis to the frame. A global rating of the distortion of the frame (from 0 = adequate to 25 = unrecognizable) was also included. Results: The bicycle test scores were not significantly correlated (p>.05, 1-tailed) with MCMI3 psychopathology, however, they correlated with nonverbal reasoning skills (correlations ranging from.57 to.74) and with measures of verbal skills (correlations ranging from.41 to.62 to scope of vocabulary). Conclusions: The correlational patterns support concurrent validity of our scoring system. The bicycle drawing test may be a useful screening procedure for cognitive impairment. As the digital display clocks enjoy an increasing popularity, the bicycle test may become a convenient substitute for the Draw a Clock Test in studies of dementia.