Erno Hermans, researcher at Donders Institute and Radboud University Medical Center, receives a Vici grant of 1.5 million euros. With this grant, he will investigate how stress resilience is created and how it can be increased. This knowledge should lead to the development of a training for prevention of stress-related complaints and disorders.
Hermans uses a dataset from the Healthy Brain Study. Hermans: ‘In this study we follow a thousand people for a year. We measure how people react physiologically to stressors in everyday life with wearables, such as smartwatches. What do they experience and how does that change their mental health? We measure how stress reactions change over time and how people develop resilience.'
Based on the measurements in the lab and in the real world, Hermans wants to develop a training for enhancing stress resilience. The training is based on neurofeedback, a method in which people receive live feedback on their own brain activity. Hermans: 'In the training we train people how to use their brains more proactively or reactively. We want people to adapt better to the controllability of the environment. In this way, we can prevent stress symptoms rather than cure them.'