Neural Correlates of Purchasing Decisions in an Ecologically Plausible Shopping Scenario with Mobile fNIR Technology
In this paper we present our preliminary findings for the neural correlates of purchasing decisions made in a computerized setting as well as in an ecologically plausible supermarket environment. Participants who were randomly recruited from a database of typical customers maintained by a marketing consultancy company were given a specific budget and asked to make purchasing decisions for basic grocery items in two separate conditions. In the first condition, participants made their decisions in a computerized scenario, where in each trial a single product and its price were displayed for a fixed duration of time, and then the participants clicked on buttons to specify which products they wish to purchase. In the second experiment, participants made similar purchasing decisions while wandering around a custom-made grocery aisle with shelves including physical products. In both conditions participants’ brain activities in their prefrontal cortices as well as their eye movements were recorded wıth a wireless fNIR device and a glass eye tracker respectively. In both conditions we observed higher mean oxygenation levels for the purchase decisions at the left dorso-medial prefrontal cortex. Despite the limited sample size, the oxygenation trends were similar in both purchasing situations. Our preliminary findings suggest that fNIR can effectively be employed to investigate neural correlates of purchasing behavior in ecological settings.
KeywordsDecision making Neuroergonomics Neuroeconomics Optical brain imaging Mobile fNIR
The authors would like to thank Dr. Hasan Ayaz for his guidance and help during the analysis and processing of fNIR signals. This research and development project was supported by The Scientific and Research Council of Turkey, TUBITAK-1501 grant to ThinkNeuro (Project No: 3140565).
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