Dr Maarten Boksem

Maarten Boksem

Associate Professor of Marketing Management
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)
Erasmus University Rotterdam

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The main theme of my research has been performance monitoring and outcome evaluation: what happens in the brain when we make a mistake, and how does this affect subsequent behaviour? Do we learn from our mistakes? Can we pinpoint patterns of brain activity that predict whether we will or will not learn from our mistakes? I am also interested in how the social context influences how we evaluate our own behaviour: how is it different for you when I tell you that your decision resulted in failure, while your colleague’s decision also resulted in failure, compared to the situation where you have failed, but your colleague succeeded? Are there differences in how the brain processes these situations (in which your objective outcome is the same)? Does it matter if this colleague is your supervisor or your assistant (i.e. how does social status influence these processes)? How do social cues (for example others’ facial expressions) influence how you evaluate your performance? How do hormone-levels, such as oxytocin, testosterone and cortisol, influence how you evaluate actions, both your own and those of others?

Over the last several years I have also become interested in Neuroeconomics, Consumer Neuroscience and Neuromarketing. My main current line of research in these fields focusses on two central questions: can we predict consumer behaviour from brain activity (and do such neural measures add anything to more traditional measures), and do brain measurements reveal additional evaluative information about marketing stimuli (commercials, advertisements), that cannot be obtained through traditional means? We find that it is indeed possible to predict consumer behaviour on the population level from brain data obtained from a limited number of students in our lab, and that these brain-measures increase predictive accuracy of commercial success compared with stated preference measures alone.

Professional experience

Associate Professor

Erasmus University Rotterdam
RSM - Rotterdam School of Management
Department of Marketing Management


Key Publications (10)

Professional Publications (2)

Work in Progress

  • V.C. Schoots, A. Smidts, A.G. Sanfey & M.A.S. Boksem (2019). The effects of social status on the neural processing of positive and negative outcomes. Neuroimage .

Scholarly Publications (46)

Doctoral Thesis

  • M.A.S. Boksem (2006, februari 2). Mental fatigue: Costs and benefits. RuG Prom./coprom.: M.M. Lorist & T.F. Meijman.


Editorial positions

  • Frontiers in Cognition



Media items

  • Voorspelt EEG filmsucces?

    The research of Maarten Boksem and Ale Smidts regarding neuroimaging technologies, such as EEG machines can reveal information that is not obtainable through conventional marketing surveys. How well could these results predict the...

  • 8 nieuwe wetenschappelijke inzichten voor je (e-mail)marketing

    The SWOCC symposium presents researches studying the basic operation of commercial communications. One of the presenters is Maarten Boksem studying brain activity patterns explicitly associated with emotions, which of course...

Discovery items

Tracking emotions real time in the brain

Being able to accurately measure emotional experiences can serve many practical purposes. Firms can see if their product has the intended emotional effect on people.

Identifying strong brands in the brain

Marketeers no longer only have to rely on what consumers tell them about brand perception. We can now see it in the brain.

Can brain responses to movie trailers predict success?

Decades of research have shown that much of our mental processing occurs at the subconscious level, including the decisions we make as consumers.


Neuroeconomics: how the brain decides

  • Study year: 2018/2019, 2017/2018, 2016/2017, 2015/2016, 2014/2015, 2013/2014
  • Code: BKBMIN018
  • ECTS: 15 Level: Bachelor, Bachelor 3, Bachelor 3


  • Study year: 2018/2019, 2017/2018, 2016/2017, 2015/2016
  • Code: BMME057
  • ECTS: 6 Level: Master

Past courses

Specialization Module on Consumer Behavior

  • Study year: 2017/2018, 2016/2017, 2015/2016
  • Code: BERMASC039
  • ECTS: 3 Level: Master


  • Study year: 2014/2015, 2013/2014
  • Code: RSMME052
  • ECTS: 6 Level: Master

Topics in Consumer Behavior (3): Advances in Consumer Neuroscience

  • Study year: 2013/2014
  • Code: BERMASC025
  • ECTS: 5 Level: Master


  • Fellowship - ERIM early career talent programme (2010)