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High-tech brain research for more adaptable employees

High-tech brain research for more adaptable employees

November 26, 2020

High-tech brain research for more adaptable employees

Antwerp Management School and Acerta present
the AMS-Acerta NeuroTrainingLabTM


Antwerp, November 26, 2020 – Antwerp Management School (AMS) and HR service provider Acerta are working together on high-tech brain research into the adaptability of employees, one of the most sought-after professional skills these days. Based on the results, partner Acerta will provide tools with which organizations can measure and improve adaptability as an HR factor.


In a world where the speed of change is no longer even questioned, there is a growing need to understand future skills, i.e. the skills employees must have to meet the challenges of the future. Knowing what future skills are and how you can measure and develop them is highly relevant information for the job market. One of the future skills that has come to the fore, is people's ability to adapt. Are people naturally prone to being adaptable? How can you measure adaptability? Are there factors that can either stimulate or inhibit it? Which are they, and how do they work? In other words, can you develop adaptability, or do you have to look for specific profiles? So there is a definite need for evidence-based research into adaptability. Through biometrics (biomedical brain activity indicators in humans), researchers at the NeuroTrainingLabTM can provide scientifically sound answers.

Adaptability as a priority research topic of the NeuroTrainingLabTM

The NeuroTrainingLabTM, located at AMS, has been mapping out highly efficient leadership behavior and the accompanying neurocognitive activity for quite some time now. The lab is led by Prof. Dr Steven Poelmans: "The NeuroTrainingLabTM is a methodology that makes it possible to observe behavior and measure the accompanying neurocognitive activity. The goal is to increase the EQ, performance and health of professionals by providing contingent, task-oriented (neuro) feedback."

AMS and Acerta are pooling intellectual capacity and resources

Stimulated by HR expert Acerta, Prof. Poelmans will from now on also study the “adaptability of employees”. Dr Chris Wuytens, also Managing Director of Acerta Consult: "The increasing importance of adaptability among employees is not a passing fad. That is why we have decided to pool intellectual capacity and resources with AMS. This has resulted in the Belgian NeuroTrainingLabTM and research into adaptability. Moreover, as an HR expert and HR service provider actively engaged in talent development, we are well positioned to help shape this research. We can also rely on a vast network of interested organizations, which is important for both the research and the application of the results.”

From high-tech brain research to practical tools

Of course, it is not feasible to monitor every job applicant’s brain activity with high-tech sensors and have the results analyzed by brain specialists. The NeuroTrainingLabTM is not a testing lab, but a research lab. It offers insights into what happens in the brain and into the elements and interventions that can positively impact adaptability. Based on these insights, tools will be developed with which companies can optimize the adaptability factor in their HRM (Human Resources Management) and HRD (Human Resources Development) policies.

Dr Chris Wuytens: "Our ambition is to professionalize our HR tool sets on talent development. As co-supervisor, we want to join forces to develop a practical tool that employers can put to maximum use to not only measure, but also improve, the adaptability of employees.

About the research

Prof. Dr. Steven Poelmans set up the first NeuroTrainingLabTM at the EADA Business School in Barcelona. Meanwhile, Chile, Peru, Brazil and now also Belgium have a NeuroTrainingLabTM and there are also plans to set one up in Ecuador, Mexico and Portugal.
The Belgian research jointly launched by AMS and Acerta consists of four phases: 1) a thorough literature review, 2) development of the ideal test battery, 3) definition of the interventions (experimental phase) and 4) field testing. The partnership with Acerta facilitates an efficient information flow to and from the research, between the NeuroTrainingLabTM and the business world.

More information about the AMS-Acerta NeuroTrainingLabTM here.

Press contact: Anja Tys, anja.tys@ams.ac.be, T +32 486 494 387

Boogkeers campus AMS management school

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