More, well, like a friend, a really really good friend

Much of user research hinges on unpacking words that mean one thing to one party and something different to another. Now we bring science into the picture, using MRI.

The research team found that while the same words were being used to describe people and products, different regions of the brain were activated when subjects were talking about one or the other. The fMRI scans detected that there was a greater neural response in the medial prefrontal cortex regions of the brain when applying the adjectives to people. But when focusing on brands, like Wal-Mart, Starbucks or Ben & Jerry’s, the left inferior prefrontal cortex was activated, an area of the brain known to be involved in object processing.

In other words, you can call it love, but fundamentally, we process the emotion differently depending on the object.

[via MIT Advertising Blog]


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