CNS Tap Test

CNS Tap Test is an adaptation of the Finger Tap Test (FTT) or Finger Oscillation Test (FOT) which  is used  to measure the status of the central nervous system (CNS), and is one of the most commonly used tests in neuropsychology, because of its simplicity and reliability, and because it generates relevant data about fine motor control, which is based on motor speed as well as kinesthetic and visual-motor ability.

“Soviet coaches have known for decades that the condition of the athlete’s nervous system is the most important variable in posting an elite performance and breakthrough neuroscience research by their fellow countrymen had given them an undeniable advantage over the rest of the world. Simple and effective tests of the CNS tonus were developed: the grip, the standing vertical jump, the critical blinking frequency, the latent reaction time, tapping with a pencil and hitting a maximal number of dots in 5sec, etc.”

Easy Strength, Dan John and Pavel

The application should be used on a regular basis to determine an athlete’s baseline. If the CNS Tap Test result is elevated it is suitable for a  maximum effort or a heavy lifting day. If the CNS Tap Test result is lower than average it may indicate CNS fatigue and impending sickness, injury or over-training.

Both hands should be tested on a regular basis in a consistent environment, typically every morning on waking. The procedure for testing is:

  • Rest hand palm down on the heal of the hand on a flat surface
  • Tapping is done with the index (pointing finger), and all other fingers remain on the flat surface
  • The timer starts with the first tap
  • When the timer expires no more taps will be accepted
  • The result can either be saved as the sample for that hand for the day, or discarded.

Multiple samples can be saved per day.

The resulting data can be graphed, emailed or managed from within CNS Tap Test.

Human Performance also has the CNS Tap Test as well as reaction time and tracking resting heart rate, weight and sleep.


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