Michal Migurski's notebook, listening post, and soapbox. Subscribe to this blog. Check out the rest of my site as well.

Dec 5, 2004 4:01am

buy button

Sandra Blakeslee writes:

At issue is whether marketers can exploit advances in brain science to make more effective commercials. Is there a "buy button" in the brain? Some corporations have teamed up with neuroscientists to find out. Recent neuromarketing experiments have explored reactions to movie trailers, cars, a pretty face and gut reactions to political campaign advertising, as well as the power of brand loyalty.

So here's my holiday productivity wish: assuming that there were no scary Orwellian drawbacks to exploiting the brain's "buy button", I would like a gizmo which combines the functions of simple calendar or PDA with mind control.

I don't just want to be notified when I'm scheduled to complete some task, I want to be filled with a deep longing to see it done. If there was a way to transfer the ecstatic concentration I feel when I'm obsessively working on some technical problem (or flow, as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi names it) to the more mundane responsibilities in my life, I'd be first in line.

I expect it's relevant that methamphetamine usage skyrocketed among U.C. Berkeley's student population whenever finals time arrived, since the functional benefit of speed is said to approach at least a few of the characteristics of "flow".

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