Neuroimaging Blog

An article published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications [1], by a team led by Dr. Dmochowski at Stanford University, made headlines all over the world. Neuromarketing: Revolution or Disillusion? The opinion of Dr. Laurent Hermoye, CEO of Imagilys, and expert in neuroimaging.

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Neuroimaging: News from Harvard

The top-10 take home messages from Harvard Medical School's Imaging Biomarkers in Clinical Trials Course, and MGH/Harvard/MIT Martinos Center's Two-Week Multi-Modality Short Course.

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Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a neuromodulation technique, which uses electrodes to apply a high-frequency electrical stimulation to deep structures of the brain.

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Brain and Justice

Lawyers for the Belgian criminal Kim De Gelder used images of the defendant’s brain in an attempt to convince the jury of his lack of criminal responsibility. Are brain scans the future for (neuro-) justice? The opinion of Dr. Laurent Hermoye, a specialist in brain imaging.

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Dr. Laurent Hermoye

Functional MRI (fMRI), is gaining more and more interest among advertisers. How does our brain react to an advertisement?

The application of recent neuroscience techniques to marketing (neuromarketing) may give insights into the unconscious purchasing behaviours of the consumer. These unconscious behaviours may represent a large part of the decision-making process, while the visible tip of the iceberg (the conscious processes), which have been studied by classical marketing research (market studies, product tests, pre- and post-advertising tests) may only represent only a minor role.

The founding article for neuromarketing by functional MRI was published in the prestigious scientific journal Neuron (McClure et al. Neuron 2004). A team of researchers studied the Coke-Pepsi paradox: during blind taste tests, the majority of testers preferred the taste of Pepsi, despite the fact that they buy more Coke. Functional MRI permitted demonstrating an astonishing fact: invoking the Coke trademark activates large areas of the brain, linked to memory, which shows that consumers are more influenced by their memory of the trademark than they are by the taste of the product.

During a neuromarketing test, the volunteer is stretched out in an MRI scanner. Audiovisual stimuli are presented to him or her while images of the brain are acquired every few seconds. Statistical analysis of the signal variations of these images permits identifying the cerebral areas activated during the presentation of a given stimulus (advertisement, product test, etc.).

Neuromarketing developments could assist advertisers and trademark or product managers to improve the effectiveness of their communications and the quality of their products to best satisfy the conscious and unconscious needs of the consumer. Optimizing the memorability of a trademark, choice of advertising formats, assistance in creation, etc., the applications are broad and are only beginning.

Manipulation? That an ad seeks to influence our choice cannot be denied, that is its purpose. Neuromarketing is only one of the increasing number of tools in the arsenal of advertisers. In any case, it does not permit changing the choice of the consumer or manipulating his or her brain unwittingly. The miracle "buy button" does not exist, but the lovely top-model on the advertising probably still has a bright future!

About Imagilys and Brain Impact:

Imagilys is a company specializing in cerebral imaging, more specifically in functional magnetic resonance imaging. It has joined forces with Brain Impact, a neuromarketing company, in order to propose targeted neuroimaging services applied to marketing in Europe.

Intraoperative MRI can provide the neurosurgeons with updated MRI images during an operation.

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Who has never dreamt reading a boss's, a colleague's or a relative’s mind? Will new brain imaging techniques replace divination and other fortune-tellers?

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By Dr. Laurent Hermoye & Pr. Steven Laureys

Functional MRI can help to assess the level of consciousness of patients in the « vegetative » unresponsive or minimally conscious states.

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Brain of a typical male

What happens in the brain in a situation of sexual excitement ? A trip behind the scenes of pleasure…

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