This month we have invited Marco Piccininni from Charité to give a talk titled "A Causal Perspective on Age-Education Correction in Cognitive Screening Tests"
Correcting cognitive screening test scores for age and education is a common practice in neuropsychology. Demographic correction quantifies an individual’s test performance relative to the distribution of normative score values obtained from a set of individuals with similar demographic characteristics and without cognitive impairment. Evidence of diminished accuracy of cognitive test scores after applying the correction can be found in the literature, and theoretical criticism of this approach has been raised in the context of cognitive screening. In this talk, I will provide a brief introduction to age-education correction and an overview of the controversy surrounding its use in cognitive screening tests. Then, I will use causal models to shed light on the problem, and I will argue that this commonly-accepted technique should not be used in practice if the aim is to be able to distinguish individuals with cognitive impairment from those without.