Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Brain activity of professional investors signals future stock performance

Posted on 2024-02-29 - 09:04 authored by Leo van Brussel

From April 2019 to February 2020, we used fMRI to collect brain response data of professional investors, while they processed 45 complex real-world investment cases and had to predict long-term stock performance. We then assessed whether the information they processed (stock metric data),  their predictions and their brain responses would relate to future performance on the stock market. We report data of 34 participants (two participants were excluded from the study due to excessive head movement during fMRI scanning). The results of our study reveal that professional investors fail to accurately predict long-term stock performance. However, while processing complex information pertaining to investment cases, brain activity in a region associated with reward anticipation was increased for stocks that would end up overperforming in the future market. Remarkably, this effect held after controlling for the stock information (stock metric data) presented in the investment cases. Our findings add to recent work in ‘neuroforecasting’, demonstrating that market behavior can be forecasted by brain activity of a small sample, here of professional investors. The findings of this study are presented in the paper "Brain activity  of professional investors signals future stock performance" published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).


This Research collection consists of two Research Packages grouping all digital objects that got created during this study. The digital objects are categorised as (1) Stimuli data, (2) Behavioral data, (3) fMRI data, (4) Script data and (5) Figure data. To improve accessibility of the data, the fMRI data (3) is split from the rest of the data - (1), (2), (4) and (5) - as the size of the fMRI data approximates 30 GB. For convenience, each Research Package includes related scripts/files.

The Research Packages composing the collection can be respectively found here:


3 Biotech
3D Printing in Medicine
3D Research
3D-Printed Materials and Systems
AAPG Bulletin
AAPS PharmSciTech
Abhandlungen aus dem Mathematischen Seminar der Universität Hamburg
ABI Technik (German)
Academic Medicine
Academic Pediatrics
Academic Psychiatry
Academic Questions
Academy of Management Discoveries
Academy of Management Journal
Academy of Management Learning and Education
Academy of Management Perspectives
Academy of Management Proceedings
Academy of Management Review
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