Journal of Consumer Behaviour

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Volume 7 Issue 4‐5 (July ‐ October 2008), Pages 263-419

Brains and brands: developing mutually informative research in neuroscience and marketing (pages 303-318)


  • Advances in neuroimaging technology have led to an explosion in the number of studies investigating the living human brain, and thereby our understanding of its structure and function. With the proliferation of dazzling images from brain scans in both scientific and popular media, researchers from other fields in the social and behavioral sciences have naturally become interested in the application of neuroimaging to their own research. Commercial enterprises have long been interested in the prospects of literally “getting inside the heads” of customers and partners, with a variety of goals in mind. Here we consider the ways in which scholars of consumer behavior may draw upon neuroscientific advances to inform their own research. We describe the motivation of neuroscientific inquiry from the point of view of neuroscientists, including an introduction to the technologies and methodologies available; correspondingly, we consider major questions in consumer behavior that are likely to be of interest to neuroscientists and why. Recent key discoveries in neuroscience are presented which will likely have a direct impact on the development of a neuromarketing subdiscipline and for neuroimaging as a marketing research technique. We discuss where and how neuroscience methodologies may reasonably be added to the research inventory of marketers. In sum, we aim to show not only that a neuromarketing subdiscipline may fruitfully contribute to our understanding of the biological bases of human behavior, but also that developing this as a productive research field will rest largely in framing marketing research questions in the brain‐centric mindset of neuroscientists.

Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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