In 2007, Samsung was the world’s largest mobile device manufacturer. The same year Apple Inc introduced the iPhone to the world. The iPhone became a game-changer for the mobile device industry and the fascination for the device has had an impact on people’s lives, but also their brains.
Neuroscientists Prof. Dr. Jürgen Gallinat and Dr. Simone Kühn conducted an fMRI study to see if and how people’s brains responded differently to an Apple product vs. a Samsung product.
During this experiment, the neuroscientist was using the old VisualSystem from NordicNeuroLab to present the stimulus to the research attendees (Learn more about the new improved VisualSystem HD here)
The 25 participants attended the study and they were presented with pictures of Samsung and Apple products. Based on the fMRI results they discovered that the Samsung products stimulated the prefrontal cortex and the Apple product stimulated a part of the brain responsible for liking people.
Using fMRI for Neuromarketing
One interpretation is that Samsung is more a product for the “mind” while Apple is more a product that evokes “gut-feelings”
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Gallinat
How do we make our buying decisions? Do we make decisions consciously based on facts, reason, and logic? Or do we actually make decisions unconsciously based on emotions, feelings, and intuition?
For instance, what do you prefer? Coca Cola or Pepsi? Most importantly: why?
This is what Neuromarketing is trying to answer, and therefore neuroscientist use techniques such as fMRI, and stimulus presentation tools like VisualSystem HD, to understand how our brains respond to different advertising, products, and how they affect our buying decisions.
In the last few decades, neuroscientist have made enormous breakthroughs in understanding how our brains work by monitoring them in real time. One of the techniques being used is functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
Usually, the participants are given tasks through fMRI equipment like the InroomViewingDevice or VisualSystem HD. These tasks can be language tasks or math problems.
Doing these tasks activates specific parts of the brain, but when the participants listened to music, multiple parts of the brain was activated.
Playing music is the brain’s equivalent of a full-body workout
Someone took it a step further by creating instruments with materials that weren’t magnetic and played the instrument while doing an functional MRI scan.
Playing a musical instrument engages practically every area of the brain at once, especially the visual, auditory, and monitor cortices.
Anita Collins – TED-Ed
Learn to play
Learning to play any instrument has great benefits. At NordicNeuroLab we have several of our employees who play instrument on a regular basis. And we encourage each other to pick up a new song or an instrument, simply because it’s good for the brain.
Learning new songs, or new instruments is always hard but it is also equally rewarding.