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Brain Res. 2007 Aug 24;1165:98-104. Epub 2007 Jul 5.

Thinking on luxury or pragmatic brand products: Brain responses to different categories of culturally based brands.

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Department of Neurology II, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, 39120 Magdeburg, Germany.


Culturally based brands have a high impact on people's economic actions. Here we aimed to examine whether socioeconomic information conveyed by certain classes of brands (prestigious versus pragmatic classes) differentially evoke brain response. We presented icons of brands while recording subject's brain activity during a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) session. After the experiment, we asked subjects to assess the brands according to different characteristics. Results revealed an active network of bilateral superior frontal gyri, hippocampus and posterior cingulate related to familiar brands in general. Brands of the category sports and luxury activated regions in medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and precuneus. In contrast, brands rated as value products activated the left superior frontal gyrus and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). The results suggest an active cortical network related to cognitive control for value brands and a network known to be associated with self-relevant processing for prestigious brands. We discuss the results as differential engagement of the prefrontal cortex depending on the attributed characteristic of a brand.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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