Wednesday, November 28, 2007
You might want to read this before you head out for your next round of Christmas shopping. Especially if you're buying anything for yourself.
We may try to hide our lust for goods but our brain can't. Steven Quartz, a neuroscientist at the California Institute of Technology, is part of a new generation of researchers exploring neuromarketing -- a new field that uses brain science to understand consumer behavior. Quartz and his colleagues roll subjects into MRI machines (which measure oxygenated blood flow) to see what parts of the brain light up while viewing images of iPods, Aeron chairs, Capresso coffee machines, and Oakley sunglasses. Their findings are challenging some basic assumptions about marketing and economics.
What exactly is neuromarketing?
A lot of people think neuromarketing is just using brain imaging technology to understand the decisions that underlie consumer behavior. Although technology is a really important part, brain science over the last decade has advanced at a tremendous pace. Neuromarketing is the application of this huge amount of information that's available in the literature in terms of how people make decisions.
Check out this The Fast Interview by Kermit Pattison: Steve Quartz on Neuromarketing – and why iPods are like heroin.
The above social commentary is an illustration I did back in 1996.