Neuroimaging as a marketing tool: Key Neurotech Patent #2

– Illus­tra­tive image from U.S. Patent No. 6,099,319

As men­tioned, we are fea­tur­ing a foun­da­tion­al Per­va­sive Neu­rotech patent a day, from old­er to new­er by issue date. Today we are shar­ing a 2000 patent assigned to The Nielsen Company.

U.S. Patent No. 6,099,319: Neu­roimag­ing as a mar­ket­ing tool

  • Assignee(s): The Nielsen Company
  • Inventor(s): Ger­ald Zalt­man, Stephen M. Kosslyn
  • Tech­nol­o­gy Cat­e­go­ry: Hybrid
  • Issue Date: August 8, 2000

SharpBrains’ Take:

The ‘319 patent is one of Nielsen’s sev­er­al patents that relate to ana­lyz­ing brain data in response to a wide vari­ety of stim­uli for pur­pos­es of eval­u­at­ing the stim­uli, such as dis­cern­ing emo­tion­al respons­es to sen­so­ry inputs. The back­ground of the patent dis­cuss­es using neu­roimag­ing to aug­ment the Metaphor­i­cal Eli­ca­tion Tech­nique, where sen­so­ry mate­ri­als (images, sounds, tastes) are used to guide com­mu­ni­ca­tions of mar­ket­ing depart­ments for adver­tis­ing cam­paigns, inter­nal admin­is­tra­tors for com­mu­ni­ca­tions, etc. While the claims are lim­it­ed to ana­lyz­ing brain data that is imag­ing data (so that mere­ly ana­lyz­ing non-imag­ing brain such as EEG data may not fall with­in the scope of the claims), the scope of the claims is nev­er­the­less broad. Var­i­ous neu­roimag­ing means are described in the spec­i­fi­ca­tion and depen­dent claims includ­ing PET scans, fMRI, and MEG imag­ing tech­niques. The valu­able appli­ca­tion of neu­roimag­ing to test­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion respons­es, broad claim scope and ear­ly pri­or­i­ty date (extend­ing back to 1998) are amongst the fac­tors con­tribut­ing to iden­ti­fy­ing the ‘319 patent as a key non-inva­sive neu­rotech­nol­o­gy patent.


Neu­roimag­ing as a means for val­i­dat­ing whether a stim­u­lus such as adver­tise­ment, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, or prod­uct evokes a cer­tain men­tal response such as emo­tion, pref­er­ence, or mem­o­ry, or to pre­dict the con­se­quences of the stim­u­lus on lat­er behav­ior such as con­sump­tion or pur­chas­ing. Sub­jects are exposed to stim­uli of vary­ing types. Their brain respons­es are then mea­sured by any one or a com­bi­na­tion of neu­roimag­ing devices. The results of neu­roimag­ing are then used to pre­dict future behav­ior of the sub­ject and those sim­i­lar­ly sit­u­at­ed with respect to pur­chase or con­sump­tion of prod­ucts, based upon the non-sub­jec­tive evi­dence of neuroimaging.

Illus­tra­tive Claim 1. A method of eval­u­at­ing stim­u­lus mate­ri­als comprising:

  • –select­ing subjects;
  • –expos­ing the sub­ject to stim­u­lus materials;
  • –mon­i­tor­ing the sub­jects in a neu­roimag­ing device while expos­ing the sub­jects to the stim­u­lus materials;
  • –col­lect­ing data from the neu­roimag­ing device; and ana­lyz­ing the data.


To learn more about mar­ket data, trends and lead­ing com­pa­nies in the dig­i­tal brain health space –dig­i­tal plat­forms for brain/ cog­ni­tive assess­ment, mon­i­tor­ing and enhance­ment– check out this mar­ket report. To learn more about our analy­sis of 10,000+ patent fil­ings, check out this IP & inno­va­tion neu­rotech report.

About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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