Motor-Free Visual Perception Test—Third and Fourth Editions (MVPT-3 and 4)



The Motor-Free Visual Perception Test—Third and Fourth Editions (MVPT-3 and MVPT-4) are standardized assessments designed to measure overall visual perceptual ability by employing a multiple-choice format of simple black-and-white drawings as stimulus items and answer choices. As its name suggests it does not place any demands upon a person’s motor-skills (Brown & Elliot, 2011). Both versions assess 5 theoretical visual perceptual constructs: (1) spatial relationships, (2) visual discrimination, (3) figure-ground (4) visual closure, and (5) visual memory. The MVPT-4 represents a reorganization of 45 items from the MVPT-3 (65 items) including new norms for ages 4 through 80 years old or older in which data was collected from 2012 to 2014 on a national, stratified sample of more than 2700 individuals. (Canivez, 2005; Colarusso & Hammill, 2003, Colarusso & Hammill, 2013). The MVPT batteries takes less than 30 minutes to administer and 10 minutes to score and yield single-item and total-scale scores, which can then be converted to a standard score, percentile rank, and age equivalent scores using the norms tables provided in their respective test manuals (Colarusso & Hammill, 2003). When purchased, each manual provides complete instructions and scoring tables that are divided into 5-year intervals for ages 20 to 49 years old and 2-year intervals for ages 50 to 93 years old, and as hypothesized, MVPT scores continue to improve up until a certain age (39 years old for the MVPT-3), after which they then began to decline at a slow but steady, rate (Brown & Elliot, 2011; Canivez, 2005). An example of the assessment includes the subject being shown a drawing and then asked to choose the matching drawing from a set of four.


Test-retest reliability of the MVPT-3 using a 34-day retest interval of 75 subjects 11 to 84 years old or older was r = 0.92, suggesting that the test is relatively stable over time. Internal consistency computed for each age group, ranged from α = 0.69 to 0.90, which included those aged 4 to 11 years (Colarusso & Hammill, 2003). Results of a study of 49 subjects with a diagnosed neurological impairment and 172 without showed a statistically significant lower score for those with impairment than those without at 59.91 and 43.96, respectively, suggesting that the MVPT-3 was able to discriminate between the two groups (Brown, Elliott, et al., 2011). Another study using the same group cohort found that MVPT-3 total scores significantly correlated with the Test of Visual Perceptual Skills-3 non-motor total score at r = 0.79 and the Developmental Test of Visual Perception-Adolescent and Adult at r = 0.73, suggesting that although these tests assess visual perception markedly different they are measuring the same phenomenon (Brown et al., 2012).


Originally developed by Colarusso and Hammill in 1972, the MVPT battery has undergone numerous revisions and refinement, thus the present scale has a large amount of evidence in support of its use in clinical practice. The assessments can be purchased from a number of therapy supply stores and when purchased includes detailed instructions for administration and scoring.


The revised MVPT-4, which was published in 2015, has little direct research in support of its use outside of that done by its creators. Also, work by Brown and Elliott (2011) found that the MVPT-3 total scale was observed to exhibit multidimensionality with scale items loaded on 11 viable factors. In other words, rather than measuring a single construct (i.e., overall visual perceptual abilities), the MVPT-3 total scale actually appeared to measure 11 different constructs or dimensions, which accounted for 58.15% of the test’s total variance.


During assessment the subject is shown a stimulus drawing where her or she must pick the most correct or matching drawing from four scoring choices. The manuals for both the MVPT-3 and MVPT-4 contain detailed instructions and norm tables to be used for converting raw scores to standard scores, percentile ranks, and age equivalents. For example, the MVPT-3 standard scores range from 55 to 145, with a distribution mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15.


The MVPT batteries can be purchased from Academic Therapy Publications, the copyright holder, at a cost of $160 for the complete MVPT-4 kit, $45 for the manual, $75 for only test plates, and $40 for record forms. Questions regarding the use of either test in research or publication should be directed toward the copyright holders or their creators at the information following. More information can be found in the following journal article:

Brown, T., & Elliott, S. (2011). Factor structure of the Motor-Free Visual Perception Test—3rd edition (MVPT-3). Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 78(1), 26-36.


POPULATION General; ages 4 to 80 years
TYPE OF MEASURE Non-motor; multiple choice and matching
WHAT IT ASSESSES Visual-perceptual abilities
TIME < 30 minutes
COST $160


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Jul 27, 2017 | Posted by in MEDICAL ASSISSTANT | Comments Off on Motor-Free Visual Perception Test—Third and Fourth Editions (MVPT-3 and 4)

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