Munro et al., 2012 evaluated the effect of antidepressants on the cognitive performance of depressed Alzheimer’s patients. Patients were tested for index finger tapping speed for 10-second intervals in 5 trials for the dominant and the non-dominant hands. The assessments were conducted in 8 week interval periods for 24 weeks. No significant observations were made over the course of assessment in either the sertraline-treated patients or placebo-treated patients. The researchers suggested this was because the patients did not suffer from Major Depression, which would have impacted their cognitive abilities.
Gao et al., 2015 evaluated fine motor function in male teenagers with mild spastic diplegia. The Tapping Test involved using the index fingers to press the keys persistently for a 30 second period. The first task involved tapping the right keyboard key with the right-hand finger followed by pressing the left key with the left-hand finger. Next, the participants were asked to tap the left and right keys alternatingly with the right-hand finger, then with the left-hand finger. Under all four conditions of testing, the patients had a larger Tap Rate in comparison to the controls.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Hubel et al., 2013 evaluated the effect of Traumatic Brain Injury on the Finger Tapping Task performance. Patients with mild TBI were assessed in 30-second trials that required them to tap the button of a high-precision gaming mouse as fast as possible. The task was first performed with the right index finger, then repeated with the right middle finger, left
index finger, and then left middle finger. Mild TBI patients showed slower median tapping rates in comparison to matched controls.
Stegemöller et al., 2015 studied the finger movement performance differences in patients diagnosed with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (PD), Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), and spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA). The participants performed the finger-tapping task with an incremental acoustic tone. Results analysis revealed that at movement rates near 2 Hz, PSP patients maintained a constant tapping rate while the PD and SCA patients moved faster and slower respectively.