Automated scoring for a Tablet-based Rey Figure copy task differentiates constructional, organisational, and motor abilities

Marco A. Petilli, Roberta Daini, Francesca Lea Saibene, Marco Rabuffetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Accuracy in copying a figure is one of the most sensitive measures of visuo-constructional ability. However, drawing tasks also involve other cognitive and motor abilities, which may influence the final graphic produced. Nevertheless, these aspects are not taken into account in conventional scoring methodologies. In this study, we have implemented a novel Tablet-based assessment, acquiring data and information for the entire execution of the Rey Complex Figure copy task (T-RCF). This system extracts 12 indices capturing various dimensions of drawing abilities. We have also analysed the structure of relationships between these indices and provided insights into the constructs that they capture. 102 healthy adults completed the T-RCF. A subgroup of 35 participants also completed a paper-and-pencil drawing battery from which constructional, procedural, and motor measures were obtained. Principal component analysis of the T-RCF indices was performed, identifying spatial, procedural and kinematic components as distinct dimensions of drawing execution. Accordingly, a composite score for each dimension was determined. Correlational analyses provided indications of their validity by showing that spatial, procedural, and kinematic scores were associated with constructional, organisational and motor measures of drawing, respectively. Importantly, final copy accuracy was found to be associated with all of these aspects of drawing. In conclusion, copying complex figures entails an interplay of multiple functions. T-RCF provides a unique opportunity to analyse the entire drawing process and to extract scores for three critical dimensions of drawing execution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14895
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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