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Neuromarketing is a new field of marketing which uses medical technologies such as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), and Electroencephalography (EEG) to study the brain's responses to marketing stimuli. Researchers use the fMRI to measure changes in activity in parts of the brain, or EEG to measure activity in specific regional spectra of the brain response, to learn why consumers make the decisions they do, and what part of the brain is telling them to do it.

Marketing analysts will use neuromarketing to better measure a consumer's preference, as the verbal response given to the question "Do you like this product?" may not always be the true answer. This knowledge will help marketers create products and services designed more effectively and marketing campaigns focused more on the brain's response.

Neuromarketing will tell the marketer what the consumer reacts to, whether it was the color of the packaging, the sound the box makes when shaken, or the idea that they will have something their co-consumers do not.

The word "neuromarketing" was coined by Ale Smidts in 2002[1]



One of the main psychology principles behind marketing is the concept of priming. Priming a subject with a certain topic such as "dog" sets off an electrochemical reaction in the neural frameworks that code for dogs. Subsequent exposure to dog-related stimuli is processed faster because of the electrochemical priming. Assimiliation is the process by which new information is assimilated or incorporated into ones' existing neural structures. Advertising agencies know how important it is to repeat their messages so that priming and assimilation can take place. Priming usually occurs without the conscious awareness of the individual, even though the subsequent behavior of the individual may be altered by the priming.

Coke vs. Pepsi

In a study from the group of Read Montague, the director of the Human Neuroimaging Lab and the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine, published in 2004 in Neuron[2], 67 people had their brains scanned while being given the "Pepsi Challenge", a blind taste test of Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Half the subjects choose Pepsi, and Pepsi tended to produce a stronger response than Coke in the brain's ventromedial prefrontal cortex, a region thought to process feelings of reward. But when the subjects were told they were drinking Coke three-fourths said that Coke tasted better. Their brain activity had also changed. The lateral prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain that scientists say governs high-level cognitive powers, and the hippocampus, an area related to memory, were now being used, indicating that the consumers were thinking about Coke and relating it to memories and other impressions. The results demonstrated that Pepsi should have half the market share, but in reality consumers are buying Coke for reasons related less to their taste preferences and more to their experience with the Coke brand.

See also



  1. ^ David Lewis & Darren Brigder (July/August 2005). "Market Researchers make Increasing use of Brain Imaging". Advances in Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation 5 (3): 35+.
  2. ^ Samuel M. McClure, Jian Li, Damon Tomlin, Kim S. Cypert, Latané M. Montague, and P. Read Montague (2004). "Neural Correlates of Behavioral Preference for Culturally Familiar Drinks". Neuron 44: 379–387.


  • Mary Carmichael (November 2004). Neuromarketing: Is It Comping to a Lab Near You?. PBS (Frontline, "The Persuaders"). Retrieved on 2007-06-12.
  • Media Maze: Neuromarketing, Part I
  • Commercial Alert's page on neuromarketing
  • The practical approach for marketers

Conferences & Publications

  • Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics - The premier neuroeconomics publication venue
  • A list of publications on neuroeconomics and neuromarketing
  • Annual NeuroPsychoEconomics Conference
  • NeuroPsychoEconomics - Das deutsche Neuroökonomie-Journal
  • TUM Neuroeconomics College at Technical University of Munich

Scholarly Organizations

  • Association for NeuroPsychoEconomics

Other Links

  • Applied Neuroscience, Austria
  • Many posts on neuromarketing
  • Neuromarketing (a blog)
  • Neuromarketing blog
  • Applied Neuroscience, Austria
  • Research Team Neuroeconomics, Münster School of Business Administration and Economics, University of Münster
  • FKF Applied Research
  • NeuroFocus, Inc.
  • Neuromarketing Research, Poland
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Neuromarketing". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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