Nielsen Grabs Stake in Brain-Probing Technology Firm

11 February 2008

NEW YORK: Research giant The Nielsen Company has taken an undisclosed stake in NeuroFocus, a California-based firm that harnesses the latest advances in neuroscience to the arcana of  advertising and messaging.

NeuroFocus claims to offer insights into the processing by the human brain of stimuli like ads, messages, and brands, and can track millisecond-by-millisecond brain responses to messaging.

According to the NeuroFocus website, these measurements are "precise, unambiguous, and repeatable".

Using established EEG [electroencephalogram] technology, which is "simple, non-invasive, non-influential, and comfortable to consumers", it monitors attention challenges, emotional engagement, and memory/retention to measure the effectiveness of advertising.

Neither company is willing to reveal the extent of Nielsen's investment, although it is sufficient to gain it a seat on NeuroFocus's board.

Nielsen evp Susan Whiting call the partnership "an extraordinary opportunity to incorporate ground-breaking science into our product offerings".

While NeuroFocus director of marketing Caroline Winnet insists that its techniques are not invasive or harmful to its test subjects. "There's no impact on the brain. It's 100% safe."

As they said about the Titanic.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff