Electroencephalography (EEG)

What is electroencephalography (EEG)?

Various regions of the brain show different patterns of activity during different processes, like thinking, resting, analyzing, or daydreaming. Electroencephalography (EEG) is one way to measure these patterns. EEG uses electrodes placed on the scalp to measure brain activity by region.

What can EEG tell us?

An EEG conducted during an activity such as viewing a commercial or looking through a direct mail advertisement can provide insight into a person’s cognitive processes.

Most basically, EEG data shows whether a person is expending mental energy on a stimulus or if they’re bored. The level of a person’s cognitive workload is related to how well they can process and retain information, so this basic information is helpful to be sure you’re not over- or under-stimulating potential donors with your fundraising campaign materials.

It can also provide insight into approach or avoidance, that is, whether people are engaging with and drawn to what they see, or if it causes them to disengage mentally.

How does EEG work?

During an EEG, our lab technicians put a cap or headband on the respondent’s scalp. Electrodes in the cap are connected to a device that collects information about electrical activity on the scalp.

Respondents view a stimulus such as direct response TV or direct mail marketing materials while wearing the EEG. Their brain response to the stimuli can help us understand the mental processes taking place that even a respondent may be unaware of.

How can EEG help your organization?

EEG is a great tool to get answers to questions like:

• During which parts of the stimulus do respondents approach or avoid the material and its message?

• What cognitive workload (or mental effort) do respondents expend while viewing the stimulus? Is this optimal for processing and acting on what they see?

• Is the brain disengaged, or bored, by the stimulus?

Want to learn more?

If you want to learn more about the science behind EEG for neuromarketing, we recommend this article:

Ariel Telpaz, Ryan Webb, and Dino J. Levy, Using EEG to Predict Consumers’ Future Choices


Contact us today to find out how Moore DM Group’s Neuro-Fundraising Lab can put our EEG technology to work for your organization.