I saw an article by abcNews late last week called “Brain Activity Mesaures Response to Ads, Commercials.” It is about a company called NeuroFocus that measures eye movements and brainwaves to see how people react to different ads.
Through electrosensors connected to someone’s head, face, and fingers, scientists can measure emotion, attention, and memory to see what parts of a commercial someone likes, dislikes, remembers, prefers, etc. For example, they’ve found that men respond more to a product’s features while women are more sensitive to and aware of pricing, and that people prefer rounded edges to square edges in a product.
Check out this short video to see the process in action:
I can absolutely see the benefits of “Neuro-Marketing” if used as a step in the research process. It can decrease some of the risk and guess-work a brand takes when launching a new ad and help “plus up” an idea to make it more likely to engage people.
There is something similar to this technology for music. It is a software program that can predict whether or not a song will become a hit. This can be very beneficial to an artist because they can tweak their song to increase it’s chances of becoming popular. But since we don’t always know what we like until we see (or hear) it, this song formula has the potential to work for or against the artist. To satisfy the producer as well as the artist, they need to find that magic balance between calculated science and pure artistry.
My question is, “What does all this mean for creativity?”
If everything becomes so calculated do we end up relying too much on the left side of the brain and neglect the right? With this technology, can scientists become creatives?
photo credit: brookhaven national laboratory