Why was PRISM created?

The Origins of PRISM

PRISM takes its origins from ‘The Decade of the Brain’ which was launched by U.S. President George H. W. Bush in 1990 as part of a larger effort involving the US Library of Congress and the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health: "to enhance public awareness of the benefits to be derived from brain research."

A prototype version of PRISM was launched in 2002 and the system has been subjected to ongoing refinement, enlargement and validation since then.

At the root of PRISM is the basic fact that all behaviour is brain-driven

Brain scan

Personality Neuroscience

In recent years, there has been a considerable increase in interest in research into the neurobiological correlates of inter-individual behavioural differences. That activity has led to the creation of what is increasingly referred to as, ‘personality neuroscience’. Two of the key objectives of personality neuroscience are: to identify the neural chemistry of personality, and to understand better how genetic and environmental forces create the relatively stable patterns of brain function that produce personality.

PRISM provides a powerful, graphic explanation for why people approach situations and individuals in different ways


PRISM is based on the well-established fact that all human behaviour is created in the brain. It was traditionally believed that once the brain’s physical connections were completed during childhood, the brain became hardwired and remained like that for life. Now, thanks to the latest brain imaging technology, scientists know that all our experiences, thoughts, actions and emotions constantly change the makeup of our brain and also our behaviour. This process is known as neuroplasticity. The discovery has profound implications for both personal and organisational development.

The adult brain can and does adapt, develop and change, even into old age