Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The TOMM

I work closely with neuropsychologists, so one day, I asked one of them to go over some of the tests they do. I thought it might have been fun to actually get tested, although I'm too worried I'd do badly and they'd lose respect.

Anyway, one of the tests they do is called the TOMM: Test Of Memory Malingering. It's an "effort measure," which is basically a really easy test that even demented patients can do well on, so if the patient fails it, they're likely not making an effort to do well.

The neuropsychologist told me that she tries to cover up the name of the test, the TOMM, so the patient doesn't go home and Google it. I made a suggestion that she could tell them that the test is named after the guy who authored it, whose first name is Tom. But it turned it, the guy who authored it really is named Tom. And actually, it turned out the guy's last name is Tombaugh.

So in summary, the test is called the TOMM, developed by Tom N. Tombaugh.

Is it just me, or is that funny?

12 comments:

  1. Yes!! I'll admit I had to Google it to make sure you weren't pulling my leg. If you made something like that up, it would just be silly.

    As an aside, I'd like to note how difficult it has gotten to get through your comment screener - you know, the words I have to type in to make sure I'm not a computer. They used to be very straightforward, but recently they're so difficult to read, I'd say that about one out of every 3-4 comments I try to write makes it onto your page. I'm sure this is internet-wide and not just you, I'm just letting you know.

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    1. Maybe I'll get rid of it temporarily and see how bad the spam is.

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    2. Suddenly: V 1 A G R A

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    3. It's not just you, anon. I have given up sometimes. I have often thought that a score of 'close enough' is appropriate to allow entry when I cannot tell whether that tiny, fuzzy number is a 3 or an 8. I don't have one of the accounts that apparently allows uninhibited access, and I cannot get one at work, so I am stuck too. However, Fizzy, I went to one blogger's site who did not have this function and I cannot begin to tell you how bad the spam was. There were 9 messages about how great some fortune teller is, each with their own personal story. (Yeah, great at scamming money, she is.) I don't know the answer. Tricia

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    4. Oo - thank you! That was so easy. Let's hope the quiet lasts. Tricia

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    5. thanks, fizzy! i've tried to leave comments umpteen times and have never been successful.

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    6. Fizzy, I can't believe you responded to Anons, but not me! :( Just kidding. YES PLEASE, God the capchas are so DIFFICULT :(

      You CAN try comment moderation, I have it and it's not really a problem as long as you're up to date with allowing comments. Plus you also get to see that one comment that one random person leaves on a post written a gazillion years ago which you'd rather no one see as your writing style makes you cringe... (that's in reference to me, not you! Your cartoons are AWESOME! I'm thinking of buying the book for myself and my aunt!). The reason I am saying comment moderation is, they usually filter out the spam and there's a separate section where you have the comment moderation with all the posts that Blogger thought was spam, and it's been 99% accurate I guess. (I allow all human comments, even if they're 'YOU SUCK AT WRITING'. lol.)

      Oh and also, yes, DEFINITELY FUNNY! :-)

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    7. Comment moderation probably wouldn't work well because I don't access the blog from work, so there would be about a 10-11 hour chunk of time during the day when I wouldn't be able to publish comments. And then a large chunk when I'm asleep of course. I do moderate comments on posts > 14 days old. But yeah, blogger has been pretty accurate with filtering spam and it hasn't been really bad yet.

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  2. does anyone know whether Tombaugh purposely found words that would make an abbreviation just so he could name the test after himself?
    ..definitely seems possible.

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  3. I work for a startup that does cognitive development systems -- brain training for kids, that combines physical exercises with computer games to grow kids' brains. Anyhow, some of our tools involve NIH cognitive assessments, and that's been my first exposure to the "simple" neuropsychological tests. They're so simple, yet measure so much. I'm just a computer programmer, but it really fascinates me. So thanks for introducing me to the TOMM test -- another really cool one. And I can see why it would successfully check for malingering -- quite clever!

    Oh, and I'm with Anonymous -- I can't believe how difficult captchas have become lately. Yes, I know I'm getting old, but surely my vision isn't deteriorating that quickly!

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  4. OK, HILARIOUS! Love that. Now I'm off to memorize the TOMM test incase I might be demented.

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  5. My father's name is spelled "Tomm." My friends love rip on it to me.

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