DASAT: Divided and Sustained Attention Task

DASAT: Divided and Sustained Attention Task

James Japp and Mark Wilkie

Developed by James Japp, these therapeutic computer based activities support the cognitive rehabilitation and recovery of persons with challenges in divided and sustained attention, information processing, and working memory following acquired brain injury or a neurological degenerative condition. Tasks demand that the individual divides attention between two different types of information: 1) number, which is verbal in nature, and 2) color, which is visual in nature.

Watch a demonstration by clicking here.

This program runs only on a Windows platform -- XP/VISTA/Windows 7 or higher. It is not compatible with MAC.

Price: $96.00 Market price: $120.00 save 20%
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Full Description

DASAT has been designed as an early intervention tool to develop the cognitive recovery of divided and sustained attention, information processing and working memory following an acquired brain injury or to help delay cognitive decline in neurological degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s. DASAT is a clinical tool for use in hospitals, rehabilitation programs or can easily be set up to be used at home.

DASAT is designed to minimize information overload which is a common problem for people with neurological impairments and to steadily build up cognitive ability. Graded exposure to the task, an intelligent system which automatically adjusts to the user’s ability level, on screen user feedback within a user friendly system, and a comprehensive performance history which can be printed or electronically transferred to the medical record make this a useful tool for any practitioner or researcher in neurological impairment.

Pages 22 page user manual; CD for use on XP/Vista/Windows 7 or Windows 8
Year 2013


James Japp, C Psychol MA (hons), MSc Dip Couns

James Japp is a clinical neuropsychologist specializing in brain injury rehabilitation and cognitive communication in the United Kingdom. He is a medico-legal expert on the assessment and rehabilitation of individuals with brain injury, as well as supporting their return to employment. He is Clinical Director of Neuropsychologists UK, an organization he founded in 2002 to promote best practices for supporting people with acquired brain injury as they reintegrate into their communities and employment.

James Japp has most recently specialized in computerized brain injury rehabilitation programs, particularly for restorative function. He has developed a number of computer based programs including Cognitive Rehabilitation Independent Speech Programme C.R.I.S.P. (Speechmark Publishing), Concentration Attention & Mental Speed Rehabilitation Task (CAMSART), and Acquired Brain Injury Memory Exercises (ABIME).


About the Author James Japp, C Psychol MA (hons), MSc Dip Couns


  • Terms of agreement
  • Software warranty
  • Limitation of Liability

  • DASAT Introduction

  • Attention
  • Background to DASAT

  • How DASAT works

  • Screen resolution

  • DASAT Administration Settings

  • Sequence Length
  • Auto Increment
  • Timer visible
  • Length of activity
  • Feedback enabled
  • Password
  • Performance history


  • User IDs
  • Printing and exporting performance
  • Factors for consideration in DASAT performance

  • Disclaimer



    Attention is the first action in processing information and is central to our ability to process information and to interact with the external world. The terms attention and concentration are often used interchangeably by the layperson, but strictly speaking, concentration is just one aspect of attention. Although psychologists identify numerous types of attention there are three main types: divided attention, sustained attention and selective attention.

    Despite the old adage that we cannot do two things at once, life is full of activities that demand we divide attention between different and competing information. For example, in a college lecture we listen to the teacher while at the same time writing down notes. We often drive our car while conversing with a passenger or we get dressed while listening to the radio. The human brain is designed to cope with different streams of information simultaneously and without this ability, we simply would not be able to function successfully in society. The ability to divide attention between information sources is often compromised following an acquired brain injury or neurological impairment.

    Sustained attention is the ability to focus on specific stimuli over a period of time, from a few seconds to a few hours. Reading a book or watching a television program or movie requires an ability to focus for a prolonged period. Problems with sustained attention are commonly reported in individuals who have a moderate or severe acquired brain injury, particularly at the acute stage of recovery. By using the performance history, DASAT enables the therapist to observe or monitor progress or deterioration in undertaking the DASAT task.

    Divided and sustained attention are of course linked to working memory and sometimes referred to as working attention. As mentioned above, working memory and attention are huge components in thinking.

    Background to DASAT

    Cognitive rehabilitation has its foundations in neuroplasticity, that is the potential of the human brain to continually adapt. The view of the human brain being an unalterable structure after childhood has been challenged in recent years. It is increasingly being accepted within neuroscience that the brain is adaptive and that the brain can process intricate and complex new skills with ease and can rewire functions in the event of damage to part of the structure, even in adulthood. Neuroplasticity comes into its own in the case of acquired brain injury and has often been called the key to recovery after injury to the central nervous system.

    Increasingly psychologists and scientists are coming to believe that healthy cells can take over the functions of the damaged cells in what is known as functional map reassignment. Communication finds a new pathway around existing blocked or damaged superhighways. If we accept that neuroplasticity enables cognitive recovery of function, then it follows that only by practicing the skill will the brain be stimulated in order for functional map reassignment to occur. There is some research evidence that attention can be improved with cognitive rehabilitation including computerized attention training.

    DASAT is designed to stimulate the brain in order to promote improvement in the individual’s ability and to develop and reorganize new neural pathways. It is the author’s view that early intervention in brain injury rehabilitation is imperative for a good outcome. As with other rehabilitation tools designed by the author, DASAT has been designed as a tool for use in a hospital setting or a rehabilitation unit at an early stage in recovery. DASAT has also been designed to address some of the typical cognitive problems seen in individuals with brain injury or other neurological disorders. For example, on screen feedback is available and can be used with those who lack insight into their impairments. This feedback also enables individuals to work independently of their therapist, but makes their performance history available enabling the therapist to gauge progress.

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