The School of Psychology has it’s own dedicated fMRI scanner that allows researchers to view shoppers’ brain activity in real-time. Whenever we are thinking or making decisions, neurons are constantly firing, which means they require energy in the form of oxygenated blood. The fMRI scanner tracks the flow of blood throughout the brain, to determine which areas are being activated. This information can then be mapped to previous knowledge on the function of different neural regions. With origins in medical research, this technique is highly accurate, and many studies demonstrate it can predict consumer behaviour far more precisely than traditional market research approaches. For example, data from a small sample of consumers who watched an advert in an fMRI scanner substantially outperformed the predictions of both self report and expert advisers in forecasting the national success of the campaign.
To read more about how we have used our scanner in helping brands develop their pricing strategy, have a look at our case study.