Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Seth Gets Wired

On the program "What Were You Thinking?" the company Neurofocus captures Seth's brain waves by electroencephalography (EEG) to determine whether he is paying attention. Let us know what you think the new field of "Neuromarketing..."

Seth with Quentin Baldwin at Neurofocus

Seth's brain is found to be operational

Seth models his new line of hip-hop headgear


That Neil Guy said...

I have to say that I felt the whole thing had a whiff of pseudoscience about it -- sort of lie detector-ish. I suspect the effect they see lies largely in the mind of the interpreter of the alleged data. I'd be interested to hear you follow up with some neurologists.

Neuromarketing said...

Seth's cranium looks like it would provide the ideal interface for this sort of test... :)

Seriously, I've interviewed the CEO of Neurofocus and he says they have plenty of data to validate use of EEG. So far this kind of analysis work hasn't been published in a peer-reviewed journal. There's little doubt that you can see consistent changes in brain activity as, say, a commercial changes images or content, but the real trick is to relate those changes to buying behavior.

Martin Lindstrom's just-released Buyology uses both EEG and fMRI in a fairly massive study. It's an interesting read, and is probably the biggest single neuromarketing study yet.


Lourdes / Hypatia said...

I think that might be a good idea to do the same test to all the AWA staff (Molly, Barbara and Gary) so we can compare and see how "normal" our favorite team is =D

Molly Bentley said...

I asked a neuroscientist for his response. Robert Knight is a professor of Neuroscience and Director of the Psychology Department at the University of California, Berkeley. He serves as chief science advisor to Neurofocus.

He writes:

"This is not lie-detector work. We never make inferences about an individual which would be ridiculous.

We use well accepted electrophysiologica methods to acquire and analyze the data from groups of people and subject it to rigorous analysis.

I am a neurologist and have worked in the EEG research field since 1977."

Coutelier said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Coutelier said...

It does look like one of those caps swimmers wear. In fact, I was trying to remember who Seth reminded me of in that last pic... and then it came to me; just shave off the eyebrows and you have British gold medalist swimmer Duncan Goodhew:

Well... has anyone ever seen them in the same room together?

(I know they don't really look much alike, except maybe a little in that one photo.)

Coutelier said...

Maybe only if you look at it from a certain angle and squint a lot.

But on Stephen Fry in America this week, there was a very similar looking thing being used by the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa. They were using it to measure the brains alpha waves or some such, and then figure out what he needed to do to remove his negative his negative energy (which is terrible to have btw) and learn to fly (or perhaps its just hopping).