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Sexy Pics Beat Ugly Spiders

 
Erotic images sell better than pictures of office supplies, and a lot better than photos of hairy spiders. Who knew? Actually, that’s a bit of an oversimplification. Stanford researchers led by neuroeconomics prof Brian Knutson have found that positive images, in this case mildly erotic photos of men and women shown to heterosexual men, stimulate the reward center in the brain and induce the viewers to take greater financial risks than subjects who saw neutral (office supplies) or negative (big spider) images. This effect was purely a priming effect, as all of the images were irrelevant to the subsequent decision. The implications of this work could be broad, impacting such diverse areas as gaming and auto sales. […]

By |April 3rd, 2008|

More Mind Reading

Berkeley neuroscientists report that they have been able to identify images subjects looked at solely by analyzing fMRI scans of the subjects’ brains. Jack Gallant and his team at the University of California Berkeley published their findings in Nature. […]

By |March 12th, 2008|

Krispy Kremes Light Up The Brain

OK, I admit it… if this story was about rats and food pellets, it wouldn’t be particularly compelling. But when scientists decide to see what your brain does while it’s looking at Krispy Kreme donuts, that’s news! Neuroscientists at Northwestern University, as part of an effort to understand how stimuli affect our brains in various motivational contexts, have examined how images of food work on our brain when we are hungry: […]

By |March 10th, 2008|

Breaking News – Perfume Turns Guys On

South Korean researchers have conducted an fMRI study that shows that perfume can arouse some men. Shocking news, eh?

Eight healthy right-handed heterosexual male volunteers (20-35 years of age), having normal olfaction and no brain diseases, were […]

By |March 5th, 2008|

Baby Pictures Really Do Grab Our Attention

Since the early days of advertising, it’s been axiomatic that pictures of babies grab the attention of readers more effectively than any other kind of image. This has led to baby pictures being used in ads for just about any kind of product or service, often with a cute caption to tie in the image to the unrelated ad content. As it turns out, decades of advertisers were right on the money: our brains are hardwired to respond to baby faces, and even baby-like characteristics in adults. […]

By |February 29th, 2008|

Neuromarketing Top Tech Trend at BusinessWeek

Neuromarketing is one of the Top 8 Tech Trends for 2008, according to BusinessWeek’s Stephen Baker in What You Really Want to Buy.

Forget focus groups. Companies that want feedback on a product are getting inside consumers’ heads […]

By |January 28th, 2008|

Cultural Brain Differences

It appears that neuromarketing practitioners face one more challenge in analyzing brain scans. Research at Stony Brook University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University shows that people from East Asian cultures use their brain differently than people […]

By |January 21st, 2008|

CMU Computers Read Thoughts

Most scientists have dismissed the idea of reading minds using technology as pure science fiction, but Carnegie Mellon University researchers have moved a step closer to doing so. Not only have they been able to identify which of several images a subject is looking at using fMRI scans of their brains. The most startling result is that the CMU researchers were able to take the data from the initial batch of subjects and repeat the identification feat with new subjects. […]

By |January 7th, 2008|

Political Neuromarketing

I’ve been waiting for the first news of neuromarketing in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, and it has arrived a full year before the election itself. The first few conclusions seem so obvious as to not require firing up a multi-millon dollar fMRI machine:

Voters sense both peril and promise in party brands.
Emotions about Hillary Clinton are mixed.
Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani are on opposite sides of the gender divide.

These were among eight conclusions of a brain scan study described in an New York Times Op-Ed piece, This Is Your Brain on Politics, credited to Marco Iacoboni, Joshua Freedman and Jonas Kaplan of the University of California, Los Angeles, Semel Institute for Neuroscience; Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania; and Tom Freedman, Bill Knapp and Kathryn Fitzgerald of FKF Applied Research. The details involved in reaching each conclusion may be more interesting than the seemingly bland summaries. Here’s the Hillary Clinton one, for example: […]

By |November 12th, 2007|

Neuro-Alarmism at Popular Mechanics

It’s Halloween, so Popular Mechanics must want to scare its readers. The magazine has thrown fuel on the fire of neuro-alarmism by running a November issue cover story by Jeff Wise talking about “digital thought police” and filled with […]

By |October 31st, 2007|