ThinkAlike Laboratories® Cross-Brain-Correlation Measures Unbiased Engagement

Traditional market research requires that people (verbally) describe their feelings and emotions to an advertisement or marketing campaign; however, typical methods create biased and narrow responses. ThinkAlike Laboratories developed a new approach to measure engagement more accurately.


Traditional neuromarketing tried (and failed) to enhance this method by using electroencephalography (EEG) to measure the electrical voltage of neuron activity from small electrodes placed on the scalp. Neuromarketing techniques ask questions such as “does our message engage our audience?” and use EEG to measure different cognitive processes by examining specific frequency oscillations (Hz). For example, alpha (8-14 Hz) relates to attention, engagement, emotion, and motivation. However, alpha could increase or decrease, both of which relate to enhanced attention depending on electrode location and type of analysis. Although this method provides interesting results that improve traditional market research methods, the results are limited, given the complexity of the neural responses.


ThinkAlike Laboratories uses a patented and scientifically validated methodology called cross-brain-correlation (CBC) to address the complexity of EEG analysis. CBC correlates brain activity across people. That is, it does not matter if alpha increases or decreases. What matters is people’s brains are doing the same thing. In addition to CBC’s superiority in measuring engagement in a group of people, it also predicts future recall and sales. For example, Barnett and Cerf (2017) collected EEG data while people watched movie trailers. They found that CBC predicted future recall within those participants and predicted population-level opening weekend ticket sales. Cross-brain-correlation is a stronger indication of whether your content engages, resonates with, and motivates your audience versus traditional methods.



Barnett, S. B. & Cerf, M. (2017). A ticket for your thought: Method for predicting content recall and sales using neural similarity of moviegoers. Journal of Consumer Research, 44(1). 160-181. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/jcr/ucw083


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