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Visual Cortex and


How visual cortex that interprets information gathered from the eye’s retina have an influence on our decision-making process?

brain visual cortex eye perceiving

Today, the understanding of marketing has become human-oriented that focuses on human’s emotions and thoughts, not product-oriented thanks to scientific contributions. Especially, with developed monitoring technologies and increasing popularity of neuromarketing methods, marketing world discovers new things about the human brain. How human brain process visuals is one these new discoveries. Today, we will discuss primitive brain, visual cortex, neuromarketing and the relationship between them.

Visual Cortex

brain visual cortex

Visual Cortex is located in occipital lobe which is one the four lobes of the brain. Simply, its goal is to take information that comes from eye’s retina and to interpret that information. It means that if you see an object, it is the visual cortex that tells you what that is. That process lasts 500 milliseconds.

We had written that humans make their buying decisions by their primitive brain, which is also called reptilian brain.

To learn more about reptilian brain, you can read our article called ‘Customer Making Decision Process and Reptilian Brain.’

That is why when a human sees a visual design, their first reaction is determined by their reptilian brain, not by the interpretation of visual cortex.

Let’s explain it with example to be more clear,

Imagine you went camping with your friends and you are walking. A snake showed up. When you first saw the snake, your primitive brain takes action in 2 miliseconds to protect body as a reflex. At that point, high functioning parts of your brain are not informed about the situation, it takes 498 milliseconds for it to be informed…

stick 500ms and snake 2ms brain perceive speed

On the contrary, it takes 500 milliseconds for visual cortex to understand if it is the snake or not and then, it takes action.

As you can understand from that example, a different mechanism may step in while deciding during certain situations. Also, humans can perceive visual so much faster than texts. It means that if you put a visual on your ad, humans would understand it so much faster than any text in your ad. In some situation, they don’t even understand the text the first time they read it.

realistic gorilla suit is standing in front of the old yellow bricks

Lets make a test A man who wore a realistic gorilla suit is standing in front of the old yellow bricks. He raises both his hands to his head while his palms are closed. He makes rock'n roll move by using his fingers.

Well, isn't it easier and faster to understand the whole image just by looking at it, instead of reading the text?

So what is the relationship between visual cortex and neuromarketing?

While preparing a visual design, the objects that you put on your design intentionally or unintentionally may trigger negative emotions on consumers. The things reaching the consumer without the interpretation of visual cortex may minimize the benefit.

Also, in today’s world that consumers pay attention to the ads for a just couple of minutes, it is not wise to move to prepare an ad that consists lots of texts, not visuals considering the fact that people perceive and understand visuals faster than texts. That may increase the benefit of the ad.

Brands shouldn’t leave everything to the designer’s experience and instincts because the human brain is so complicated. Science is one way to do that.