dr. (Maarten) MAS Boksem

dr. (Maarten) MAS Boksem

Associate Professor of Marketing Management

Associate professor Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Department of Marketing Management
Location
Burg. Oudlaan 50, Rotterdam
Room
T10-09
Email
mboksem@rsm.nl
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Profile

I have a broad interest in human behaviour and in how the brain orchestrates this behaviour. My current research topics range from the decoding of psychological processes from the brain, to investigating brain responses with naturalistic stimuli (movies), to the neural underpinnings of cheating and deception, and to the role of context in decision-making. Past lines of research include the role of hormones in behaviour and brain processes, the neural substates of emotions, goal-directed motivation and their control, performance monitoring and the impact of fatigue on cognition. I will briefly outline these research lines below.

Decoding psychological processes from the brain

The human psyche pretty much remains a black box: we can observe or even manipulate the input a person’s psychological system receives, but not the feelings or cognitive processes that are evoked by this input. Likewise, we can observe the decisions made by the system, but not the feelings or cognitive processes that drove these decisions. In this line of research, we decode these latent processes or states from the brain, using machine learning methods applied to distributed pattern of brain activity.

For example, in two studies (one using EEG, and one using fMRI), we presented participants with video content while measuring activity from their brains. Using machine learning, we trained classifiers to accurately decode the emotional experience evoked by these videos in our participants. As another example, in every-day life we observe large differences in honesty and fairness across individuals. In a set of two studies (using fMRI), we decode idiosyncrasies in the underlying motivations for honesty and fairness. We find that particularly individual differences in the engagement of cognitive control and theory of mind drive differences in prosocial behaviour.

Brains at the movies

In the past, research in neuroscience has used decontextualized stimuli and highly artificial experimental designs to study the neural substrate of cognitive processes. Although this approach has been very successful, as it allows for tightly controlled experiments and straightforward interpretation of results, it has left open the question of how the brain responds to events in more naturalistic settings. In this line of research, we address this issue by investigating how brain processes unfold during movie watching.

We find that we can track emotions, engagement and preference that follow the narrative of the presented videos. In addition, we observe that we can not only predict how well individual participants will like the movie they are watching, but also how well others will like this movie. That is, we can predict, from brain activity measured during movie-watching in a small set of participants, to what extent a different set of participants will like this movie, and even estimate how well the movie will do at the box office.

Cheating, unfairness and deception

Dishonest behaviour, such as tax evasion, music piracy or fraud, is highly prevalent in our society and inflicts huge economic costs. Every day, we are faced with the conflict between the temptation to cheat and deceive for financial gains and maintaining a positive image of ourselves as being a ‘good person’. In this line of research, we investigate the psychological and neural underpinnings of decisions to either cheat and deceive, or to remain fair and honest.

We find that particularly individual differences in the engagement of cognitive control and theory of mind drive decisions to be fair and honest (or not). For example, in one study we found that cognitive control may override an individual’s moral default, allowing honest people to cheat, whereas it enables cheaters to be honest. These insights contribute to a deeper understanding of individual differences in honesty and may aid in developing more targeted interventions aiming at reducing dishonesty.

  • M Tops, P Luu, Maarten Boksem & DM Tucker (2013) - The Role of Predictive and Reactive Biobehavioral Programs in Resilience
  • Maarten Boksem & D (David) De Cremer (2009) - Morality and the brain - Information Age Publishing

  • Esther Eijlers, Ale Smidts & Maarten Boksem (2020) - Implicit measurement of emotional experience and its dynamics - NMSBA
  • Hang Chan, Maarten Boksem & Ale Smidts (2019) - Neural profiling of brands: Mapping brand image in consumers' brains with visual templates - NMSBA
  • Maarten Boksem & Ale Smidts (2015) - Your brain on movie trailers – How brain responses to movie trailers predict individual preferences for movies and their population-wide commercial success - NMSBA

  • Sebastian Speer & Maarten Boksem (2020) - Decoding fairness motivations from multivariate brain activity patterns - doi: 10.1093/scan/nsz097 - Oxford University Press
  • M Quirin, M Tops, Maarten Boksem & SL Koole (2017) - Large-scale neural networks and the lateralization of motivation and emotion
  • M Tops, Maarten Boksem & AE Wester (2005) - Error-related potentials: relations with reward and punishment sensitivity, and cortisol reactivity
  • AA Wijers & Maarten Boksem (2003) - Selective attention and error processing in an illusory conjunction paradigm: ERPs fail to confirm the special status of conjunction errors

  • Maarten Boksem (2006) - Mental fatigue: Costs and benefits - RUG

Neuromarketing

Year
2021
Year Level
master, master, master, master
Course Code
BMME057

Neuroeconomics

Year
2021
Year Level
bachelor 3, bachelor, bachelor 3
Course Code
B3MIN1018

  • Catalina Ratala

    Neuroscience of Consumer Decision-making: Neural correlates of dynamic valuation
  • Linda Couwenberg

    Context Dependent Valuation. A neuroscientific perspective on consumer decision-making
  • Esther Eijlers

    Emotional Experience and Advertising Effectiveness: On the use of EEG in marketing
  • Hang-Yee Chan

    Decoding the consumer’s brain: Neural representations of consumer experience
  • Aljaž Sluga

    Hour of Judgment: On judgment, decision making, and problem solving under accountability
  • Aljaž Sluga

    Hour of Judgment: On judgment, decision making, and problem solving under accountability
  • Sebastian Speer

    The (dis)honest and (un)fair brain Investigating the neural underpinnings of moral decisions
  • Leonard Diederik van Brussel

    Doctoral Research in Marketing (Decision Neuroscience)
  • Leonard Diederik van Brussel

    Doctoral Research in Marketing (Decision Neuroscience)
  • Marina Lenkovskaya

    Doctoral Research in Marketing (Marketing Science, Consumer Behaviour or Consumer Neuroscience
  • Ting-Yi Lin

    Doctoral Research in Marketing (Marketing Science, Consumer Behaviour or Consumer Neuroscience

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