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CAMPAIGN ADS TESTED WITH BRAIN SENSORS
Mon Apr 19 2004 19:31:19 ET
New campaign ads are being tested on how they affect blood flow in the brain, the NEW YORK TIMES is planning to report on Page Ones Tuesday.
Newsroom sources tell DRUDGE how NYT reporter John Tierney has filed a 1100 word story on the possible future of campaign strategy development.
A subject lay inside an MRI machine, watching commercials playing on the inside of his goggles as neuroscientists from UCLA measured the blood flow in his brain.
Instead of asking the subject -- a Democratic voter -- what he thought of the use of Sept. 11 images in the first Bush campaign commercial this year, the researchers noted which parts of his brain were active as he watched -- and that they were different from the parts that had lit up in earlier tests with Republican voters.
The researchers don't claim to have figured out either party's brain quite yet, since they haven't finished this pioneering experiment.
But they have already noticed intriguing patterns in the way that Democrats and Republicans look at candidates.
Researchers zeroed in on 9/11 images and their particular effect among Democrats on the amygdala, the part of the brain that responds to threats and danger. Tested Democrats responded to the Sept. 11 images with noticeably more activity in the amygdala than did the Republicans.
"The first interpretation that occurred to me," one scientist conducting the test tells the NYT, "is that the Democrats see the 9/11 issue as a good way for Bush to get re-elected, and they experience that as a threat."
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