The British magazine New Scientist chose its most recent cover by sitting 19 right-handed men down and recorded their reactions to a variety of covers while measuring their reactions with an electroencephalograph. According to a post by Peter Krafka in All Things Digital, the magazine's editors hired the firm NeuroFocus essentially to pick the brains of their target audience.The design [shown] scored highest, because it supposedly made testers most receptive to the concepts “eye-catching,” “intriguing” and “must-buy”. This type of testing is unusual in magazines, but increasingly used in consumer marketing. As the New Scientist said:
In what we suspect is a world first, this week's cover was created with the help of a technique called neuromarketing, a marriage of market research and neuroscience that uses brain-imaging technology to peek into people's heads and discover what they really want. You may find that sinister. What right does anyone have to try to read your mind? Or perhaps you are sceptical and consider the idea laughable. But neuromarketing, once dismissed as a fad, is becoming part and parcel of modern consumer society. So we decided to take a good look at it - and try it out ourselves.