From General to Specific: Understanding Individual Characteristics and their Relationship with Neural Recordings during Media Consumption

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Abstract. Neurophysiological methods and recording techniques are increasingly being embraced to enhance business intelligence about consumers' behavior. Researchers have found evidence linking individual characteristics with variations in mental processing and user literacy for neurally-controlling computer interfaces. The work presented here seeks to better understand the relationship between individual characteristics and neural activations as recorded by electroencephalography (EEG) while participants viewed certain types of media online. A study conducted with 21 right-handed individuals demonstrates that the individual characteristics of smoking, hand dexterity, and experience playing certain types of video games correlate with neural activations in the frontal lobe, reflecting arousal and engagement. These correlations indicate the need to control for particular participant characteristics when conducting studies using neurophysiological recording techniques and expand considerations for incorporating such novel, yet insightful tools into the business intelligence practice.

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