- Leandro Herrero - https://leandroherrero.com -

What the brain teaches us about consumer behaviour. Fascinating.

Neuroscientists at the Advance Brain Research Institute in Minnesota have found that there is a direct connection between ‘intention to buy’ and the firing of a particular area of the brain called ‘sub-cingulous minor’, until now not well studied and only associated to some degenerative diseases.

Using the latest techniques on Turbo Magnetic Brain Imaging (TMBI), they could see that a group of volunteers who expressed ‘interest to buy’ when confronted with an online shopping catalogue, had a significantly different ‘firing’ of those cells, as seen by neuroimaging signals called ‘flurescent sparks’, when compared with another group that was neutral or not interested.

This research supports the hypothesis that paleo-encephalic structures (the so called ‘old reptilian brain’) where the ‘sub-cingulous minor’ sits, explain the desire to buy or ‘acquire’, a finding that no doubt will please the modern science of neuro-marketing.

It gets better. What is more surprising is that patients with a lesion in adjacent areas, as shown in another study of post car accident patients, seem to also have significant changes in the ‘desire to acquire’, a jargon used in this research area. In a parallel study, at least two of these patients with ‘severe compulsive habits’ recovered completely from those habits once they were discharged and after surgery.

Both the ‘sub-cingulous minor’ and its adjacent area, known as ‘the basin, seem to explain a remarkable high number of human behaviours, from the above ‘intention to acquire’ to compulsive habits and also alertness and ‘lack of fatigue’.

Since those areas are particularly rich in dopamine, one of the main neurotransmitters which has been clearly associated with ‘the reward system’, the researches have launched the hypothesis of the connection between those varied forms of behaviour, and particular personality types that are attributed to so called ‘contingency leadership’. Suddenly we can connect more and more dots and begin to understand better how we function as humans and how our personalities are determined by particular areas of the brain.

I have made that up.

The whole lot. Top to bottom. It is complete neuro-garbish. And it sells. With my apologies to Minnesota.

Neuro-babble and chemo-mistery which explain anything from a God centre to the desire to embrace a stranger in the street are, at their worse, plain fraud, and, at their best, an example of people who can’t spell the word correlation.

There are indeed well intended and scientific based attempts to understand brain functioning and ‘mind’ but many neuro-scientists are sadly silent in front of the vast garbage seen every day in print and on screen. Just in case they can write a book one day.

Starting with the word ‘neuro’ seems to give legitimization to nonsense. We can do better. I hope. Better than neurononsense, that is.

By the way, watch out that ‘sub-cingulous minor’. Who knows what it can explain next. Perhaps mortgage acceptance or addiction to selfies.