Single brain cells become altered in unison when you’re shopping, a new study finds.
Researchers took volunteers who already had electrodes in their heads – they were undergoing a procedure to try to figure out exactly where their seizures were coming from – which let the scientists track the behavior of individual neurons in the amygdala.
They then showed patients pictures of fifty different kinds of junk food for one-second each, and asked to bid between $0 and $3 for each item.
Of the 51 neurons that the researchers tracked in the three volunteers, 16 performed in lockstep with the value of the food item, changing their activity in a predictable way as the value increased. As the value (and corresponding bid) went up, some of these neurons’ activity went up too. Others showed an inverse relationship, with their activity declining as the value increased.
So it looks like, in a way, your brain is wired to shop.
Also interesting is that the amygdala the part of the brain usually associated with fear and rage, which are pretty much the two main emotions advertisers try to trigger in consumers.
HOW THE BRAIN SHOPS [DiscoveryNews] (Thanks to c-side!)