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Evaluating neural responses via EEG brain data in virtual reality environments: Key neurotechnology patent by The Nielsen Company

virtual reality

– Illus­tra­tive image from U.S. Patent No. 8,392,250

Today we are shar­ing a fas­ci­nat­ing patent by The Nielsen Com­pa­ny, rel­e­vant both for con­sumer research and for home health solu­tions. (As men­tioned, we are fea­tur­ing foun­da­tion­al Per­va­sive Neu­rotech patents, from old­er to new­er by issue date)

U.S. Patent No. 8,392,250: Neu­ro-response eval­u­at­ed stim­u­lus in vir­tu­al real­i­ty envi­ron­ments

  • Assignee(s): The Nielsen Com­pa­ny
  • Inventor(s): Anan­tha Pradeep, Robert T. Knight, Ramachan­dran Guru­moor­thy, Dev Rat­nakar
  • Tech­nol­o­gy Cat­e­go­ry: EEG
  • Issue Date: March 5, 2013

SharpBrains’ Take:

The ‘250 patent is one of Nielsen’s sev­er­al patents that present unique approach­es at the inter­sec­tion of neu­rotech­nol­o­gy and con­sumer research. The abil­i­ty to dis­cern con­sumer reac­tions based on brain data (cap­tured via EEG in some embod­i­ments) when prod­ucts are shown in vir­tu­al envi­ron­ments over­comes sev­er­al prob­lems (as dis­cussed in the back­ground of inven­tion) with pri­or approach­es, such as incom­plete and inac­cu­rate feed­back from after-the-fact sur­vey results. Fur­ther­more, the vir­tu­al real­i­ty envi­ron­ment allows for quick­ly and cheap­ly test­ing a vari­ety of stim­u­lus mate­ri­als, there­by estab­lish­ing an effec­tive means for prod­uct devel­op­ers and mar­keters to iter­ate on designs and mes­sag­ing.

The claims of the ‘250 patent require sep­a­rate­ly gen­er­at­ing the vir­tu­al envi­ron­ment (e.g., a store or shop) and stim­u­lus mate­r­i­al (e.g., prod­uct pack­ag­ing) before inte­grat­ing the two, which may present a com­peti­tor design around option. Nev­er­the­less, the com­pelling syn­er­gy between brain feed­back, vir­tu­al real­i­ty and con­sumer research con­tribute to deem­ing ‘250 patent a key non-inva­sive neu­rotech­nol­o­gy patent.


A sys­tem presents stim­u­lus mate­ri­als such as prod­ucts, prod­uct pack­ages, dis­plays, ser­vices, offer­ings, etc., in vir­tu­al real­i­ty envi­ron­ments such as mar­ket aisles, store shelves, show­room floors, etc. Sen­so­ry expe­ri­ences out­put to the user via the vir­tu­al real­i­ty envi­ron­ment elic­it user inter­ac­tiv­i­ty. User activ­i­ty and respons­es are used to mod­i­fy mar­ket­ing mate­ri­als and/or vir­tu­al real­i­ty envi­ron­ments. Neu­ro-response data includ­ing elec­troen­cephalog­ra­phy (EEG) data is col­lect­ed from users in order to eval­u­ate the effec­tive­ness of mar­ket­ing mate­ri­als in vir­tu­al real­i­ty envi­ron­ments. In par­tic­u­lar exam­ples, neu­ro-response data is used to mod­i­fy mar­ket­ing mate­ri­als and vir­tu­al real­i­ty envi­ron­ments pre­sent­ed to the user.

Illus­tra­tive Claim 1. A method, com­pris­ing:

  • obtain­ing stim­u­lus mate­r­i­al for pre­sen­ta­tion to a sub­ject;
  • gen­er­at­ing a vir­tu­al real­i­ty envi­ron­ment for the stim­u­lus mate­r­i­al;
  • inte­grat­ing the vir­tu­al real­i­ty envi­ron­ment and the stim­u­lus mate­r­i­al;
  • expos­ing the sub­ject to the stim­u­lus mate­r­i­al in the vir­tu­al real­i­ty envi­ron­ment;
  • col­lect­ing neu­ro-response data from the sub­ject exposed to the stim­u­lus

mate­r­i­al in the vir­tu­al real­i­ty envi­ron­ment, where­in the neu­ro-response data includes elec­troen­cephalog­ra­phy data; where­in the neu­ro-response data from the sub­ject is ana­lyzed to deter­mine an effec­tive­ness of the stim­u­lus mate­r­i­al in the vir­tu­al real­i­ty envi­ron­ment, where­in the stim­u­lus mate­r­i­al com­pris­es mar­ket­ing mate­r­i­al.

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.

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