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Marketing actions can modulate neural representations of experienced pleasantness

Plassman, Hilke and O'Doherty, John P. and Shiv, Baba and Rangel, Antonio (2008) Marketing actions can modulate neural representations of experienced pleasantness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105 (3). pp. 1050-1054. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC2242704. doi:10.1073/pnas.0706929105.

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Despite the importance and pervasiveness of marketing, almost nothing is known about the neural mechanisms through which it affects decisions made by individuals. We propose that marketing actions, such as changes in the price of a product, can affect neural representations of experienced pleasantness. We tested this hypothesis by scanning human subjects using functional MRI while they tasted wines that, contrary to reality, they believed to be different and sold at different prices. Our results show that increasing the price of a wine increases subjective reports of flavor pleasantness as well as blood-oxygen-level-dependent activity in medial orbitofrontal cortex, an area that is widely thought to encode for experienced pleasantness during experiential tasks. The paper provides evidence for the ability of marketing actions to modulate neural correlates of experienced pleasantness and for the mechanisms through which the effect operates.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
O'Doherty, John P.0000-0003-0016-3531
Additional Information:© 2008 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA. Edited by Leslie G. Ungerleider, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, and approved December 3, 2007 (received for review July 24, 2007). Published online before print January 14, 2008, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0706929105. This article is a PNAS Direct Submission. We thank Vivian Valentin, Jan Glaescher, and Axel Linder for their help with this project and Hackjin Kim, Sam Huang, and Shawn Wagner for developing the coil we used to detect swallowing movement and for providing support to process the swallowing signal. Financial support from the National Science Foundation (Grant SES-0134618) is gratefully acknowledged. This work was also supported by a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to the California Institute of Technology Brain Imaging Center. Author contributions: H.P., J.O., B.S., and A.R. designed research; H.P. performed research; H.P. analyzed data; and H.P., J.O., B.S., and A.R. wrote the paper. The authors declare no conflict of interest. This article contains supporting information online at
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Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:orbitofrontal cortex; modulation by marketing actions; neuroeconomics; taste
Issue or Number:3
PubMed Central ID:PMC2242704
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:PLApnas08
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:12178
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:28 Oct 2008 06:35
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 22:26

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