Embodiments of the invention described herein relate generally to a method for assessing cognitive function and measuring treatment efficacy. Assessing the efficacy of clinical treatments is important for development of new interventions, for example drugs, gene, protein or antibody therapies, as well as for monitoring patient responses to approved and prescribed therapies. It is feasible to use modified versions of tests developed for experimental animals, such as primates or canines, to evaluate cognition in humans. Because the tasks are non-verbal, individuals with severely limited cognitive abilities can be objectively evaluated. Inferences can be made about the human neuropathology because the neural substrates underlying the ability to perform these tasks in animals have been delineated.