Mapping the mind for the modern market researcher

Carl Senior*, Hannah Smyth, Richard Cooke, Rachel L. Shaw, Elizabeth A. Peel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose - To describe the utility of three of the main cognitive neuroscientific techniques currently in use within the neuroscience community, and how they can be applied to the emerging field of neuromarket research. Design/methodology/approach - A brief development of functional magnetic resonance imaging, magnetoencephalography and transcranial magnetic stimulation are described, as the core principles are behind their respective use. Examples of actual data from each of the brain imaging techniques are provided to assist the neuromarketer with subsequent data for interpretation. Finally, to ensure the neuromarketer has an understanding of the experience of neuroimaging, qualitative data from a questionnaire exploring attitudes about neuroimaging techniques are included which summarize participants' experiences of having a brain scan. Findings - Cognitive neuroscientific techniques have great utility in market research and can provide more "honest" indicators of consumer preference where traditional methods such as focus groups can be unreliable. These techniques come with complementary strengths which allow the market researcher to converge onto a specific research question. In general, participants considered brain imaging techniques to be relatively safe. However, care is urged to ensure that participants are positioned correctly in the scanner as incorrect positioning is a stressful factor during an imaging procedure that can impact data quality. Originality/value - This paper is an important and comprehensive resource to the market researcher who wishes to use cognitive neuroscientific techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-167
Number of pages15
JournalQualitative Market Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2007

Bibliographical note

© Emerald Group Publishing Limited


  • brain
  • cognition
  • cognitive mapping
  • market research
  • neurology


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