For years neuromarketing firms have been selling their services to help advertisers optimize TV commercials, product packaging, and other media. While these companies all claim success in helping their clients boost sales, there’s been little in the way of published academic research that demonstrates measuring consumer brain activity can reliably predict subsequent behavior. A new study published in Psychological Science brings us closer to that point: scientists using a UCLA fMRI facility analyzed anti-smoking ads by recording subject brain activity. They also asked subjects about the commercials and whether the ads were likely to change their behavior. The researchers found that activity in one specific area of the brain predicted the effectiveness of the ads in the larger population, while the self-reports didn’t. […]