The Non-Visual Orientation Box (NVO BoxTM) test is a tactile-motor executive test involving spatial challenges that is performed non-visually.
The test is used to assess the test subject’s ability to manage a task requiring spatial orientation, while at the same time assessing the test subject’s potential to learn how to perform the task through several attempts.
The test consists of a sturdy box with 10 shapes in different geometric forms (e.g. an equilateral triangle) and naturalistic shapes (e.g. a tear drop) and a board with matching moulds into which the shapes fit, but sticks out slightly above the mould so that they can be grasped with the fingers.
There are two openings in the long side of the box, into which the test subject is asked to insert their hands. A piece of cloth is sewn on to the holes so that the person cannot see inside the box. On the opposite side is a rectangular opening covered by material that can be lifted up for the tester to observe what the test subject is doing.
The NVO BoxTM test can be used to assess whether a person has good three-dimensional orientation skills and is able to learn to manoeuvre in a landscape consisting of different moulds into which the shapes have to be placed in a series of 4 + 4 tries. The following questions are considered:
- Does the test subject quickly grasp how the NVO Box is set up and are their times for
the first four tries good?
- Can the test subject retain what they have learned when the layout in the second series of four tries is changed around by altering the position of the board (turning it 180 degrees horizontally in relation to the position of the test subject or turning it 180 degrees vertically and thus presenting a mirror image)?
In other words, the question is whether the learning acquired after the first four tries is so stable that it can be retained more or less continuously, even if the position of the board is significantly altered.
Some people are used to thinking with their hands and work in more practical occupations. From their perspective, the NVO Box test has features reminiscent of the practical challenges they face on a daily basis. Both the box and the shapes are of a size and weight that replicate the experience of, say, working on materials using tools. The tasks with the NVO Box test are solved using the hands and arms, i.e. the upper body.
The box weighs 12 kg, including the board and the shapes, and stands firmly on the table in front of the test person. Handles at the sides make the box easy to move after use. The shapes are also conveniently sized and sit easily in the hand. The NVO Box test is different from the paper and pencil tests typically used by psychologists to assess skills, which mainly reflect the challenges present in an office environment.
The test could be described as an ecological test that can be used to assess whether test subjects have good three-dimensional orientation skills when faced with practical, spatial challenges.