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Bigger Brain = Social Media Success

Hiring a social media manager or a salesperson? Maybe you should have the finalists’ brains scanned in an fMRI.

A larger orbital prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with decision-making and cognitive processing, has been shown to correlate with greater social skills, according to a study by a team of UK researchers. Among the scientists was Robin Dunbar, who pioneered the idea that the average human is limited to a social circle of about 150 people (see Your Brain’s Twitter Limit: 150 Real Friends), a constant now known as the Dunbar number. […]

By |August 14th, 2012|

Sugar as Brain Food

This isn’t great news for dieters, but sometimes sugar can be a good thing. Roy Baumeister, a psychologist at Florida State University, had subjects perform a mentally taxing task – watching a video while being careful to ignore random words scrolling across the bottom of the screen. (Apparently, it takes quite a bit of concentration to NOT look at the scrolling words.) Then, the subjects were given a drink of lemonade and asked to perform another cognitively demanding task, choose an apartment based on descriptions of various options.

The catch was that some subjects drank lemonade made with real sugar, and others had lemonade made with Splenda, a sugar substitute without nutritional value. The performance differences on the apartment task were surprising. […]

By |October 29th, 2009|

How We Decide

Book Review: How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer
Jonah Lehrer has been translating neuroscience into prose comprehensible by the lay reader for years, and How We Decide helps readers understand and even apply current research in the process of human decision-making.

Lehrer begins with a look at expert decision-making, and how individuals with the right training and experience can make high quality decisions seemingly with little or no conscious thought. A football quarterback, for example, has only a second or two after the ball is snapped to analyze the entire field, ascertain what strategy the defense is employing, determine where one of his own receivers is likely to be most open, and then throw the football to the spot where that player will be by the time the ball gets there. […]

By |October 8th, 2009|

Measuring TV Program Engagement

One of the problems with measuring the viewership of television programming is that counting viewers doesn’t give advertisers or programmers any information about how engaged the viewers are with the content. Two Australian firms, PBL Media’s Nine Network and Neuro-Insight, have launched an effort dubbed PEP – program engagement power – to rectify that.

Engagement means different things to different marketers, but Neuro-Insight defines the term as, “the sense of personal relevance and involvement that an individual feels in response to a portrayed situation. High engagement is associated with increased brain activity in a number of regions including the prefrontal and orbito-frontal cortex.” […]

By |February 5th, 2009|

Show You Trust Your Customer

Want your customers to trust you? Demonstrate that you trust THEM! This may seem counterintuitive, but there’s sound neuromarketing reasoning behind it. The concept revolves around that seemingly magical neurochemical, oxytocin, which is a key factor in forming trust relationships. Paul J. Zak, director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University and unofficial oxytocin evangelist, relates a story about how in his younger days he was the victim of a small-scale swindle. He now concludes that a key factor in getting him to fall for the con was that the swindler demonstrated that he trusted Zak. […]

By |December 8th, 2008|