By Steven Babitsky Esq.

One of the challenges faced by expert witnesses and the lawyers who retain them is the ability to diagnose and demonstrate cognitive impairment/dysfunction. Often, it is not practical to order a full neuropsychological workup including neuropsychological testing.

Counsel wants to demonstrate visually the cognitive problems that their client is experiencing.

The results of the clock drawing task/test often produce visually visceral response in the judge/jury viewer.

In this simple test the examinee is given a piece of paper with a pre-drawn circle. The examinee is asked to draw the number on the clock and then is asked to draw the hands to a specific time traditionally 10 minutes after 11.

Previously high functioning individuals may produce clock with various mistakes, including:

• Graphical difficulties
• Stimulus bound responses
• Conceptual deficits
• Spatial/planning deficits, or
• Perseveration (see below)

The clock drawing task/test is often an excellent way to visually demonstrate cognitive impairment/dysfunction.

For additional information, see “The Clock Drawing Task: Common Errors and Functional Neuroanatomy” (

About the Author
Steven Babitsky, Esq. is the President of SEAK, Inc., The Expert Witness Training Company (