Brain-imaging detection of visual scene encoding in long-term memory for TV commercials
Brain imaging, by steady-state probe topography, was used to investigate whether a distinct pattern of brain electrical activity in the ieft or right frontal hemispheres could identify which frames from new TV commercials would be recognized by consumers in an unannounced recognition test one week later. First, confirming previous research, video scenes held on-screen for 1.5 seconds or longer were better recognized. Second, after controliing for scene duration, it was found that video scenes that elicited the fastest brain activity in the left frontal hemisphere were also better recognized. This new finding suggests that the transfer of visual information from short-term memory to long-term memory takes place in the left hemisphere, not the right hemisphere as previously believed. Selection of visual content that produces a fast electrical response in the left-brain hemisphere shouid help to create highly memorable TV commercials.