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Neuroscience and virtual reality: an innovative approach to study scents

More and more companies are paying attention to the new frontier of the study of scents, a field that is spreading intensively and creating new strategies. Seeing and touching is no longer enough, the smell becomes an exciting nectar. There is a relationship between olfaction and brain, in fact scents are able to affect our cognitive functions and mental states. Scents have the ability to stimulate several areas of the brain, generating emotions and memories.

In this regard, a study was conducted to investigate, through the use of electroencephalography (EEG) and virtual reality (VR), the impact of the scent of lavender and lemon, associated respectively with relaxation and activation, on the mental effort of participants when listening to two messages: one generic (welcome message) and one informative (slowdown message). These messages were heard during a train journey from Rome to Milan, simulated with VR.

VR allowed to design a highly immersive environment reducing complications such as: the excessive cost of the real journey, the impossibility to control environmental variables (background noises, distracting elements, etc), limiting the times. The EEG was important for analysing the participants' mental effort.

Results showed a significant increment of mental effort for subjects exposed to lavender in comparison to those exposed to lemon scent when listening to the slowdown message. Considering the relaxing properties of lavender, the results seem to indicate that a calm state creates the condition for better elaboration of the information provided by slowdown message. The impact of the smell also acts even if people are not always aware of it. Despite the fact that all subjects were exposed to a specific smell (lemon or lavender) during the experiment, more than half of the sample (57%) they were unaware of the presence of a smell and only 21% correctly recognised the specific fragrance to which were exposed.

This research shows how the use of the EEG has been important to understand the cognitive effects of scents impossible to observe verbally. The combined approach of neuroscience and virtual reality has been useful and may pave the way for other applications to measure the impact of olfactory stimuli in marketing and communication activities.

Article written in collaboration with: Simona Ceccarelli, Valeria Mantelli and Olivia Ramdin.

Double award for Innovation and Excellence in Lazio for Neuromarketing Revive headset

During the inauguration of the 2021 ADI Design Index exhibition at the Confindustria’s headquarters Auditorium della Tecnica in Rome, the 2021 ADI Design Index Innovation Award was presented to "Revive", a tool developed by BrainSigns to read brain signals in Neuromarketing researches.

This device was judged: “Innovation capable of combining emotions and rules, opening up new application scenarios to be explored.”

In the same event, the Revive project was also awarded the Design Excellence Award in Lazio 2021. The award, promoted by the ADI Lazio Territorial Delegation with the support of the Lazio Region, is given every year to designers and companies working in and from the Lazio Region and which have been selected in the ADI Design Index.

We are proud to have received these awards for the project carried out which testifies to the innovation and vitality of Italian design.


First Mindtooth demo at EATS 2021: 19th European Airline Training Symposium

On the 2th and 3rd November in Berlin took place EATS 2021: The 19th European Airline Training Symposium, an aviation tradeshow that brings together the industry’s leading professionals to promote safety and share best practices in pilot training and cabin crew training. 

BrainSigns was a guest at the UrbeAero stand and carried out the first public live demo with the Mindtooth prototype for the measurement of human factors: "Mindtooth LIVE Demo: come to see real-time assessment of human factors by Measuring your brain activity".

The results of the ongoing validation to the simulators of the UrbeAero Flight School were also presented at the stand. 

The possibility of introducing the use of neurometrics in this field has aroused many interest among the operators who attended the stand.


Mostra ADI DESIGN INDEX 2021- esposizione headset “Revive”

L’headset “Revive”, impiegato nei test di Neuromarketing, sviluppato in BrainSigns e disegnato dal nostro designer Francesco Della Monica, è stato esposto al Design Museum Milano in occasione della Mostra ADI DESIGN INDEX 2021 di prodotti italiani selezionati dall’Associazione Design Italiano (ADI) per il Premio Compasso d’oro.

I prodotti selezionati, 233 sulle 1.017 candidature presentate, sono suddivisi in vari ambiti tematici. Accanto alla classica sezione del Design per l’abitare sono numerosi i prodotti del Design dei materiali e dei sistemi tecnologici, quelli della Ricerca per l’impresa e della Ricerca teorica che testimoniano l’innovazione e la vitalità del design italiano.

Dal 18 Novembre la mostra sarà trasferita per due settimane a Roma al Palazzo di Confindustria Auditorium della Tecnica, viale Umberto Tupini 65.

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