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In spite of the popularity and widespread use of disc-transfer tasks like the Tower of London and the Tower of Hanoi, only very few studies addressed in detail the impact of structural problem parameters on measuring the cognitive processes underlying ‘planning’. We therefore developed TowerTool which integrates several concepts of the structural determinants of problem difficulty into a comprehensive and easy-to-use software package and allows for systematic analyses of the problem space and individual problems of disc-transfer tasks.

Software and Download

TowerTool is an open-source software solution written in MATLAB that allows easy access to in-depth analyses of problem structures of widely used planning tasks like the Tower of London, the Tower of Hanoi and their variants.

The current version of TowerTool and a comprehensive manual can be downloaded free of charge at the following URL ftp.uniklinik-freiburg.de (user: tower pwd: tower). TowerTool is distributed under the GNU General Public License (Version 3). By accessing the above ftp-server for downloading TowerTool, you agree to abide by the terms and conditions of that license. For accessing the ftp-server, please make sure that your internet options are set to use passive ftp. If you experience any problems downloading TowerTool or if you wish to get notes on updated versions of TowerTool, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Kaller CP, Rahm B, Köstering L, Unterrainer JM (2011). Reviewing the impact of problem structure on planning: A software tool for analyzing tower tasks. Behavioural Brain Research 216(1):1-8.


In close cooperation with the Schuhfried company, we have developed the Tower of London - Freiburg Version (TOL-F) as a computerized test for the assessment of planning ability. Most importantly, we have incorporated current knowledge about the impact of structural problem parameters on planning impairments so as to provide a reliable and valid foundation for diagnostic decisions in clinical practice. The TOL-F is implemented in the Vienna Test System (VTS) and is described there.


Kaller CP, Unterrainer JM, Kaiser S, Weisbrod M, Aschenbrenner S (2012). Tower of London - Freiburg Version. Mödling: Schuhfried.

Work related to the development of the TOL-F is published under the following references:

Köstering L, Schmidt CSM, Weiller C, Kaller CP (in press). Analyses of rule breaks and errors during planning in computerized tower tasks: Insights from neurological patients. Epub ahead of print in Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology.

Kaller CP, Debelak R, Köstering L, Egle J, Rahm B, Wild PS, Blettner M, Beutel ME, Unterrainer JM (2016). Assessing planning ability across the adult life span: Population-representative and age-adjusted reliability estimates for the Tower of London (TOL-F). Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 31(2):148-64.

Debelak R, Egle J, Köstering L, Kaller CP (2016). Assessment of planning ability: Psychometric analyses on the unidimensionality and construct validity of the Tower of London task (TOL-F). Neuropsychology, 30(3):346-60.

Köstering L, Schmidt CSM, Egger K, Amtage F, Peter J, Klöppel S, Beume LA, Hoeren M, Weiller C, Kaller CP (2015). Assessment of planning performance in clinical samples: Reliability and validity of the Tower of London task (TOL-F). Neuropsychologia, 75(August):646–655.

Köstering L, Nitschke K, Schumacher FK, Weiller C, Kaller CP (2015). Test-retest reliability of the Tower of London planning task (TOL-F). Psychological Assessment, 27(3), 925-931. 

Kaller CP, Unterrainer JM, Stahl C (2012). Assessing planning ability with the Tower of London task: Psychometric properties of a structurally balanced problem set. Psychological Assessment, 24(1):46-53.

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