News Release: Research , School of Medicine

Mar. 8,  2010

Experts Provide Perspective on Neuroimaging and Marketing

News Article ImageGregory Berns, MD, PhD, professor of Psychiatry and Economics and Distinguished Chair of Neuroeconomics at Emory University

In a March 3, 2010 online article in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Gregory Berns, MD, PhD, professor of Psychiatry and Economics and Distinguished Chair of Neuroeconomics at Emory University, and colleague Dan Ariely, PhD, professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke, examine the practicality of applying neuroimaging methods to marketing efforts.

In recent times, improvement in technology related to brain imagery has enticed scientists from many specialties to examine the seemingly endless possibilities in understanding the mechanisms of the brain, and how those mechanisms affect behavior, says Berns

As more information has surfaced, more applications for this new field have been discovered, including the use of the emerging data for business objectives, he notes.

According to the Berns and Ariely article, despite the common belief that marketing is inherently evil, the use of neuroimaging might provide hidden information about the consumer experience before the product is even developed. This scientific approach, say the authors, may give the marketer more precise information, ideally leading to a better outcome.

In the article, the authors discuss the ethics of neuromarketing and describe the process in which neuroimaging reveals information that cannot be identified by simply using focus groups, test marketing or other traditional methods. They delve into return on investment with neuromarketing, and explain how studies that use brain imaging provide early, relevant information to guide product development.

The full article can be found online at

Nature Reviews Neuroscience, advance online publication, March 3, 2010 | doi:10.1038/nrn2795 


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