The Functional Reference Battery has been implemented in SuperLab and is specifically designed to be usable with equipment routinely found in functional imaging laboratories. The FRB is also designed to be self-contained in that the instructions have all been prerecorded to insure uniformity across subjects. Careful attention has been paid to assure that the instructions and the content of the tasks are culturally independent. The tasks and instructions have been translated and verified by back translation in several languages (English, Canadian French, German and Castilian Spanish) and have been forward translated into Japanese and Dutch. Forward translation into Italian is currently in progress. The portability of the entire protocol has been verified by acquiring data from one of the investigators in the course of visiting all three of the primary ICBM sites as well as two of the European sites not currently involved in primary data collection for the FRB.
The current FRB consists of five tasks:
- an auditory naming task in which subjects hear descriptions of objects and must silently generate the name of the object
- an external order task that requires subjects to use working memory to keep track of familiar abstract designs across a delay period
- a hand imitation task in which subjects must place their own right hand into orientations corresponding to those shown in photographs
- an oculomotor task requiring subjects to make visually guided saccades
- a verb generation task in which subjects must silently generate a verb that corresponds to a presented object.