Measuring the Most Important Brain Region for the Future of Work

January 15, 2019 Joel Davies 0 Comments

For many years, scientists have studied the importance of intelligence and personality in predicting success at work. This research has shown that, on average, high performers tend to be somewhat more intelligent and have slightly higher levels of certain personality traits. However, intelligence and personality only account for a modest amount of the variance in job performance.

In recent years, scientists have turned their attention to other abilities that intelligence and personality tests don’t measure. Their new focus has been guided by an in-depth understanding of how the brain works. One particular set of abilities that has been identified as important is associated with a single brain region. This region is the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex (DLPFC), depicted below.

Scientists have shown that tasks which are designed to measure DLPC cortex can be used as accurate predictors of future job performance. A large scale study out of the University of Toronto showed that performance on a battery of these tasks correlated strongly with managerial performance ratings. Moreover, when these tasks were combined with intelligence and personality tests, the predictions became far more accurate than each would have been on its own.

The DLPC is associated with a distinct set of abilities. These abilities include the ability to filter out unnecessary information, focus attention, regulate emotions, think flexibly about ambiguous problems, and inhibit impulses. It is primarily concerned with exerting mental control. It prevents us from giving in to our base instincts which are controlled by our more primitive brain structures. As the world becomes increasingly complex and demanding, these abilities are becoming increasingly important. People that can develop their DLPC abilities are likely to have a distinct competitive advantage at work.

The Thinklytic platform has adapted a number of neuroscience tasks designed to measure DLPC function. We have maintained the scientific validity of these tasks while incorporating gamification elements that make them more engaging for candidates completing the assessment. When scores from these tasks are combined with all our other measures, we are able to provide a much more comprehensive assessment of a candidates’ potential than any other assessment platform on the market today.

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