© 2018

A Brain for Business – A Brain for Life

How insights from behavioural and brain science can change business and business practice for the better


Part of the The Neuroscience of Business book series (TNoB)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Shane O’Mara
    Pages 27-43
  3. Shane O’Mara
    Pages 45-60
  4. Shane O’Mara
    Pages 61-75
  5. Shane O’Mara
    Pages 125-138
  6. Shane O’Mara
    Pages 139-154
  7. Shane O’Mara
    Pages 155-156
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 157-163

About this book


Behaviour change is hard, but O’Mara shows that by adopting strategies that are well-founded in the science of brain and behaviour individuals and organisations can adapt to the demands of the modern world.

The brain matters in business. The problem is that our brains have many biases, heuristics and predilections that can distort behaviour and decision making. The good news is that we know more about how these work than ever before.

O’Mara’s starting point is that, as our behaviour arises from the structure and function of our brains, careful examination of a series of brain–based (‘neurocognitive’) analyses of common aspects of human behaviour relevant to business and management practice reveals lessons that can be used at work.

He begins by looking at neuroplasticity and how it is enables a shift from a restrictive ‘fixed mindset’ to an enabling ‘growth mindset’. He shows how this changing mindset approach – where the focus is on task and improvements based on effort – is scalable within organisations.

Next, as the brain is a living organ like the heart and lungs, O’Mara shows how to keep it physically in the best possible shape before examining how we exercise control over our behaviour, build resilience and create positive brain states. He also considers the implications for business of our brains wiring for status and illustrates how research shows that it is possible to de-bias assumptions about gender and race – and the impact that this has on performance.


Brain Diversity Engagement Business Management Mindsets Self-talk Changing Behaviour Self-regulation Self-control Cognitive Biases person Perception Working in Groups Brain hygiene Optimising Expertise and Performance Stress Resilience Positive Brain States Gender Organisations

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Trinity College DublinDublinIreland

About the authors

Shane O’Mara is Professor of Experimental Brain Research and a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator at Trinity College Dublin. His research interests include the brain systems supporting learning, memory and cognition; the brain systems affected by stress, depression and motivation; applying brain and behavioural science to organisations and business. He has published more than 120 peer-reviewed papers in these areas.

Bibliographic information