Why and how the NeurOlympics are science based


BrainsFirst’s gaming products, the NeurOlympics, measure cognition and executive skills. Our games were developed in a scientific and brain-based manner. How?

Define please!

“Science based” is used in many ways and for many products. However, to have a scientifically sound product you have to match the following criteria:
    • Founded on objective facts
    • Experimental setup to test a hypothesis
    • Significant sample: sufficient amount of people participating in the experiment to reach significance
    • Reproducibility: repeating the experiment later or by others gives similar results
    • Test validity: the test measures what it is supposed to measure
    • Face validity: the participant feels like the test is transparent and relevant
    • Test-retest reliability: Consistent test scores and little training effects

Games based on experimental research

In science, (neuro)psychology to be specific, some tasks are used over and over again, establishing a solid ground to interpret the results. These tasks have been improved and perfected over the years, reassuring high quality and matching all the criteria described above. From multiple (neuro)psychological studies, we extracted validated tasks proven to measure cognitive skills, such as working memory and attention. These thinking ability tasks were then transformed into our gamified assessment.

Matching skills with the brain

We covered science-based. But what does brain-based mean? It means that for every cognitive skill we measure with the NeurOlympics the most crucial brain area and corresponding functions are known. Let’s take an example: sensitivity for distraction. The skill to be able to ignore distraction in your surrounding and stay focussed on your work, is dependent on activation of the superior prefrontal cortex. This brain area communicates closely with other ‘monitoring parts’ of your brain. Interested in the other cognitive skills and the brain areas they rely on? Request a NeurOlympics trial.

The NeurOlympics passed the test!

We successfully created this gamified assessment, but how do we assure that the test measures what it should and the candidates find it is relevant?

Correlation of NeurOlympics scores with classical IQ tests show that outcomes are associated. The cognitive scores thus accurately predict someone’s level of intelligence. Also, we have a large database and data driven models (see data driven rankings), and we update the scores every time the machine becomes “smarter”.

For satisfaction of the candidates we put the test in an appealing jacket (see gamified assessment). Moreover, they are enthusiastic about the measurement tool, since it can be used for job applications and self-insight. So we created a valid test. What else is important?

Limiting training effects

For a strong measurement tool data has to be consistent. The NeurOlympics show a high test-retest reliability, meaning that a candidate obtains approximately the same result after redoing the test later. We also found that practising of the games does not influence the scores much. Hereby, we can adequately measure cognition and predict someone’s work performance for the future!