How Marketers Are Plotting To Use Neuroscience To Control What You Buy

This study showed the placebo effect was alive and well. They liked the more expensive wines better. Because participants’ brains were being scanned by functional MRI machines while they judged the wine, the researchers were able to go back and analyze that same data for “grey matter volume.” Then they took the grey matter data and plugged it into a database that looked for links between volume and cognitive functions. This time they found: Those who have a higher grey matter volume in the striatum, the part of the brain involved in processing rewards, responded more easily to the marketing placebo effect. The researchers took that to mean these poor suckers were more responsive to (perceived) rewards. If that wine says it’s expensive, then it must be good! Those who have a higher grey matter volume in their prefrontal cortex, which is involved in making decisions, social behavior and personality, are also pretty susceptible to the placebo effect. Again, that wine’s expensive and therefore must be good. Those who have more grey matter in the posterior part of the insula, a brain region involved in sensory processing, aren’t quite as easily influenced -- they know when they taste good wine and can’t easily be tricked by a price tag. In the second study, the researchers doubled back, testing whether these differences in grey matter correlated with different personality types, like being more responsive to rewards and paying more attention to your gut feeling ...
Source: Science - The Huffington Post - Category: Science Source Type: news