Advertising Affects the Brain

New research on advertising:

When showed images of fast food companies, the parts of the brain that control pleasure and appetite lit up. The brains did not do the same when showed images from companies not associated with food...Researchers' concern is that marketers for these companies are tapping into the reward portions of the brain long before children develop self-control...

Marketing and Advertising are no friends to the intellect. Their stated goal is to bypass our consciousness and manipulate our emotions (wants, needs, and insecurities) at some pre-conscious level. As such, this article is just the tip of the iceberg--we're bombarded with all kinds of advertising. The particular axe being ground here is meant for childhood obesity, but it seems reasonable that our society's continual and manipulative advertising blitz would have other effects as well.

Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that our brains create associations between visual elements (like a fast-food company logo) and the "pleasure centers," of our brains. The problem, according to researchers, is that children are being "programmed," from an early age, to develop brand preference (which in this case can be linked to obesity and health problems).

Brand preference? We should also talk about band preference because the kind of music we expose our children to can and will affect the kind of music they enjoy later in life. Given the power of music, I have no doubt a similar study on the brain would confirm this.