Intro to NIH Toolbox®

NIH Toolbox includes over 80 stand-alone measures, also available in 30-minute batteries to assess Cognition, Emotion, Motor, and Sensation. 

NIH Toolbox Tests

Performance-based tests of function (also known as "objective measures"):

  • Available at
  • Administered via iPad app.
    • Cognition: The mental processes involved in gaining knowledge and comprehension, such as thinking, knowing, remembering, judging, and problem-solving. These higher-level functions of the brain encompass language, imagination, perceptions, and the planning and execution of complex behaviors.
    • Motor: The ability to use and control muscles and movements. Motor performance includes voluntary control of both fine and gross motor functions including dexterity, strength, balance, locomotion, and endurance. Motor performance also requires the interaction of multiple body systems, including the nervous, muscular, cardiovascular, and sensory-perceptual systems.
    • Sensation: The biochemical and neurologic process of detecting incoming nerve impulses as nervous system activity. Sensory processers are vital to one's level of independence in relationship with others, academic and occupational endeavors, and activities of daily living.

Self-report and proxy-report measures for Emotion and select Sensation domains:

  • Available in Search & View Measures.
  • Administered via iPad app, Assessment Center API, and/or paper and pencil.
    • Emotion: Any strong feelings, such as joy, sorrow, or fear. An affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like is experienced (as distinguished from cognitive and volitional substates of consciousness). Emotions can be positive or negative and distressing. The NIH Toolbox Emotion measures include four major domains: Psychological Well-Being, Stress and Self-Efficacy, Social Relationships and Negative Affect.

NIH Toolbox, NIH Toolbox for the Assessment of Neurological and Behavioral Function, and the NIH Toolbox logo are marks owned by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Last updated on 3/27/2023