Ana Martinez-Levy Patrizia Cherubino Dario Rossi María-Trinidad Herrero Ezquerro Arianna Trettel Fabio Babiloni

Advances in Neuroscience and Its Application in Economics and Marketing Research

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Since the beginning of the 21st century it was recognized that marketing management needed to keep up with a new era: innovating its tools and methods, strengthening its role within the organisation, addressing new horizons, promoting an ethic approach, putting the individual- consumer at the core of the processes (Wright and Wagner, 2008). Now, after more than a decade, the marketing approach to other disciplines has led to advances in the field for a better understanding of consumer insights. Technological advances in fields such as neuroscience have facilitated investigations of consumer decision-making processes in real-world settings. In 2004, Camerer, Loewenstein and Prelec wrote about to bring neuroscience techniques and knowledge to bear on economic analysis (Camerer, Loewenstein and Prelec, 2004). The hope at that point in time was that the new functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMri) technique would allow researchers to identify which regions of the human brain are involved in different types of decisions and that activity in those regions would definitively reveal people’s thoughts (Konovalov and Krajbich, 2019). Attempting to link both disciplines – economics and neuroscience – becomes evident that they have to learn a lot from each other (Bechara and Damasio, 2005; Smith et al., 2002). From this perspective, neuroeconomics is defined as applying neuroscientific methods to analyse and understand economically relevant behaviour (Camerer et al., 2004). Later, the discipline evolved by applying this methodology to other market issues. Thanks to the technological progress and the development of innovative solutions applied to neuroimaging, such as less invasive and wearable devices, the neuroscientific approach became a powerful tool to investigate unconscious reactions and the brain functioning during daily life (Borghini et al., 2019; Di Flumeri et al., 2019). Applied to marketing research, the term neuromarketing describes a field of study defined as applying neuroscientific methods to analyse and understand human behaviour concerning markets and marketing exchanges (Lee, Broderick and Chamberlain, 2007). This new paradigm in the management market with a centrality of the consumer insights through neuroscience techniques is currently applied in each marketing area such as communication, product, packaging, brand, retail, and pricing (please see Cherubino et al., 2019 for a review of provided insights from each marketing area). Within the discipline, here has been an evolution regarding the application areas. In recent years, researchers have focused their attention on applying the neuroscientific methods in product development, not only to the extrinsic features (i.e., packaging, price, shape, colour, and texture) but also to their intrinsic values (i.e., aroma, flavour). Framing these pieces of evidence with the current consumer-style – increasingly informed and interested in a healthy lifestyle without giving up the pleasure of taste –, seems of crucial interest to evolve in the application mentioned above of measuring experiences within the Food and Beverage (F&B) sector. This research aims to deepen the use of neuroscientific technologies in market research, focusing on neuroscience’s contribution to the marketing management discipline and F&B marketers. The advantages and the pitfall of using neuroscience in the marketing applications will be discussed, and insights provided by consumer neurophysiological responses during different products’ consumption experiences will be presented.


  • Marketing
  • neuroscience
  • beverage
  • preference
  • familiarity


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