Our Toothpaste Makes Your Brain Light Up

Journal of Consumer Psychology just published a cool study from Emory where people listened to music while having functional MRI of their brains, and it turned out that the MRI in the people who were listening to music that later became commercially successful was significantly different from those listening to music that later failed.

Specifically, the good music correlated with increased activity in their orbitofrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens. The most interesting part, though, is that seeing this activity on the MRI was actually a better predictor of the success of the song than the people's own reports of how much they liked the music.

So is functional imaging going to play a role in consumer marketing strategy in the future? I hope so.

Product packages could actually show pictures of what your brain MRI will look like after you buy and use the product, all lit up in different colors. Certain breakfast cereals marketed towards kids could make your brain light up the shape of cartoon characters or marketable dolls. "I want my brain to look like that, Mommy." They'd buy the cereal and the doll. Quaker brand Old-Fashioned Oatmeal, though, like I eat every morning, would just make your whole brain light up the entire time. The oatmeal box would be this gigantic glowing, pulsating brain. It would scream when you touch it.