June 23, 2010
Brain scans may be able to predict what you will do better than you can yourself, and might offer a powerful tool for advertisers or health officials seeking to motivate consumers, researchers said on Tuesday.
They found a way to interpret “real time” brain images to show whether people who viewed messages about using sunscreen would actually use sunscreen during the following week.
The scans were more accurate than the volunteers were, Emily Falk and colleagues at the University of California Los Angeles reported in the Journal of Neuroscience.
“We are trying to figure out whether there is hidden wisdom that the brain contains,” Falk said in a telephone interview.
“Many people ‘decide’ to do things, but then don’t do them,” Matthew Lieberman, a professor of psychology who led the study, added in a statement.