Continuous Tapping Task


Background Information

Tapping (also called wrist-finger speed) is a basic speed-dependent psychomotor skill. While the tapping rate can be employed to distinguish between the dominant and non-dominant hand, its most common use lies in the field of pharmacopsychological research. Various studies have proven evidence that the tapping rate is declined under the influence of sedative drugs such as minor tranquilizers (benzodiazepines), major tranquilizers (neuroleptics), and tricyclic antidpressants. However an enhancement of the tapping rate by stimulative agents (for example caffeine, amphetamine derivatives) is less clearly shown. It is discussed, that an increase of tapping rate only occurs with subjects being fatigue before the administration of the stimulant.

In this tapping task, subjects must tap as quick as possible one key for a one minute test period. You can introduce different treatments bu instruction, e.g. comfortable speed vs max speed, dominant vs non-dominant hand, morning vs evening, or single vs. dualtask to introduce independent variables


Collyer CE, Broadbent HA, Church RM. (1994). “Preferred rates of repetitive tapping and categorical time production”. Perception & Psychophysics 55 (4): 443–453. PMID 8036123

Fleishman E A (1964) Psychomotor tests in drug research. In: Uhr L, Miller J G (Eds) Drugs and behavior. New York, Wiley

Fleishman E A (1972) Structure and measurement of psychomotor abilities. In: Singer R N (Ed) The psychomotor domain: Movement behavior. New York, Lea & Febiger