The Science Behind

From Games To Results Explanation

You’ve played the games and got your report. But how do the two connect?

The games measure your cognitive ability, which is central to many aspects of life, including your professional career. More specifically, they assess different aspects of executive functions, which allow you to be in control of your behavior in everyday life. The NeurOlympics measure these functions in a gamified manner, giving insight into how your brain functions. As cognitive abilities are relatively stable traits, your performance in the games reflects how your brain works in general, including in work life. 

The report centers around the 6 thinking skills and your corresponding style. The executive functions measured by the NeurOlympics underlie these skills, but there is no exact one-on-one mapping. Instead, executive functions uniquely translate into your brain’s way of thinking, shaping your proficiency on the 6 thinking skills. Essentially, knowing where your strengths and weaknesses lie with regard to executive functions leads to knowing your manner of working, as these functions are central to how your brain thinks. 

Ultimately, just as every brain is unique, so is every job. By understanding how your brain functions, BrainsFirst can help you find a job that matches your way of working, aligning you with a role that suits your cognitive abilities.

Quality of the NeurOlympics

Internal research by BrainsFirst has shown that the NeurOlympics have great instrument quality, following the standards of the Dutch organization testing this quality (COTAN). BrainsFirst aims to provide you with the highest quality possible, in order to allow for a correct assessment and therefore a true job-brain match and the identification of true talent. As the NeurOlympcis inform hiring and talent identification decisions, we want to ensure that this is done correctly, hence objectively, and up to the highest standards of science. This quality is ensured by adhering to the following four criteria.

Test Hygiene & Reliability

Criterion Validity

This refers to the connection of the games to tangible data in the real world. This means that performance on the games corresponds to actual performance in the workplace. For example, a hiring decision based on the NeurOlympics will have a tangible impact for the hiring company, by translating into the aimed-for efficiency of the employee.

Construct Validity

This kind of validity checks the necessary connection between the performance on the games to the constructs they claim to measure, such as attention or working memory. This ensures that the games measure the executive functions and therefore that any decisions based on their output are truly reflective of the way the brain functions, and hence science-based and objective.

Concurrent Validity

Concurrent validity refers to the relation of a test, in our case the games, to other tests which measure the same or similar outcomes. While the NeurOlympics are a unique way of assessing and identifying talent, they still relate to other, more compound measures such as IQ tests. This relation allows to ensure that the varying ways in which brain functioning may be defined and measured connect to each other.


Good reliability ensures that the same, or largely similar, results are obtained each time you play the games. This is necessary to ensure that the output of the games actually reflects the way your brain functions, to guarantee that the right decisions are made when it comes to your hiring decisions.

What is Test Hygiene?

Test hygiene refers to the manner in which a test, in our case the NeurOlympics, is taken. This includes the effort you put into the completion, including your performance as well as reading the instructions, but also more external factors such as the environment in which you take the test or the time of the day at which you do so. Overall, test hygiene affects performance. Hence, if you play the NeurOlympics more than once, and there is a difference in your test hygiene, the results of the games may be different, with the extent of this difference relating to the difference in test hygiene. Therefore, keeping test hygiene is very important to allow for a correct assessment which reflects your abilities to the fullest. The easiest way to do so is to do the games during your brains’ peak, namely the morning, and in a quiet environment. Especially concurrent validity and reliability can only be ensured if test hygiene is practiced.