The Neuroscience of Depression in the Brain – Emma Allen

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Depression is a multifaceted and insidious disorder, nearly as complex as the brain itself. As research continues to suggest, the onset of depression can be attributed to an interplay of the many elements that make us human—namely, our genetics, the structure and chemistry of our brains, and our lived experience. Second only, perhaps, to the confounding mechanics of anesthesia, depression is the ultimate mind-body problem; understanding how it works could unlock the mysteries of human consciousness.

Emma Allen, a visual artist, and Dr. Daisy Thompson-Lake, a clinical neuroscientist, are fascinated by the physical processes that underlie mental health conditions. Together, they created Adam, a stop-motion animation composed of nearly 1,500 photographs. The short film illuminates the neuroscience of depression while also conveying its emotive experience.

“It was challenging translating the complicated science into an emotional visual story with scenes that would flow smoothly into each other,” Allen told The Atlantic.

“One of the most complex issues we had to deal with,” added Thompson-Lake, “is that there no single neuroscientific explanation for depression…While scientists agree that there are biological and chemical changes within the brain, the actual brain chemistry is very unique to the individual—although, of course, we can see patterns when studying large numbers of patients.” As a result, Allen and Thompson-Lake attempted a visual interpretation of depression that does not rely too heavily on any one explanation.

The film’s first sequence depicts the brain’s vast network of neuronal connections. Neurons communicate via synapses, across which electrical and chemical signals are exchanged. In a depressed patient’s brain, some of these processes are inefficient or dysfunctional, as the animation illustrates. Next, we see a positron emission tomography (PET) scan of a depressed brain, demarcated by darkened areas. Finally, the animation shows activity in the hippocampus and the frontal lobe. Abnormalities in the activity of both of these areas of the brain have been implicated in depression by recent research.

For Allen, one of the main objectives in creating Adam was to help dispel the notion that depression is a character flaw. “A common misconception is that the person is at fault for feeling this way, and that to ask for help is a weakness or embarrassing,” Allen said. “But depression has a physical component that needs treating.”

“The shame surrounding mental health still exists,” Allen continued. “In fact, in the case of Kate Spade, it was reported that she was concerned about the stigma her brand might face if this were made public.”

And who, exactly, is Adam? “Daisy lost a friend to suicide,” said Allen, “so the film is named in his memory.”

If everyone who read the articles and like it, that would be favorable to have your donations – Thank you.

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Why Your Marketing Strategy Needs Neuroscience – Diana Davies

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Neuroscience marketing insights are what take content out of the routine and generic basket and move them into the basket that is driven with direction and purpose.

Without insights into your target audience, capturing and holding their attention is next to impossible. This leads to low engagement, shares, blog comments and retweets. The end result? Content creation and social media becomes a dreaded chore.

If you spend a few minutes interviewing your defined target audience you will end up with a toolbox full of neuromarketing insights. You start to know what your target audience is looking for and how to create it.

You will have keywords, key phrases, emotions, visuals and stories that engage their brain. Your marketing strategy will have focus and you’ll be less distracted by what your competitors are doing.

How do I collect target audience insights?

The first step in effectively applying neuroscience to a marketing strategy is to understand your specific target audience. Who are YOU trying to connect with and how are your services unique and focused on them?

Let’s start by thinking about the groups that make up your target audience. Most of you will have current clients, prospective clients, strategic partners and possibly a board or investors you’re accountable to.

Step two, think about how your business is unique in your industry and in comparison to your competitors.

Knowing how you’re unique provides a clearer understanding of the value that you bring to each of the relationships you have defined. The relationships between you and your clients, strategic partners and board of directors.

The next step is a bit more hands on – you need to get some insights from each of these groups by asking them questions and listening to their answers.

Start with short interviews – nothing too formal just set aside 10 minutes to reach out to a few people within each of your defined groups. Find out directly how they feel connected to you and how they perceive your services.

Surveys are also great way to collect insights if face to face or phone interviews are not an easy option.

Each group will have its own set of questions and answers to explore. Not only does it give you the answers you need in order to create strategic content. It also gives you the keywords, key phrases and emotions straight from the source.

This is all gold when it comes to neuromarketing – this is the data you need in order to effectively engage the brain of your target audience. Once you have these basics mapped out you have created the foundation of your neuroscience based marketing strategy. You can personalize your content with their keywords, key phrases and emotions.

Why brains love targeted marketing strategies

The old brain is the oldest part of the brain and is 100% focused on self and survival. This is why the insights gained from your interviews are so important. These interviews are sneak peeks into that “self” that your audience is sharing with you.

The mid brain developed next along the evolutionary scale and is related to emotion.

The new brain is the most recent addition to the human brain and is related to higher cognitive functions such as complex analysis.

The mid brain is the part of the brain that you actually want to direct your marketing efforts towards. The mid-brain is emotion driven. Many neuromarketing agencies such as Neuroset UK have repeatedly shown that audiences aren’t making logical decisions based on fact, they are acting on emotion.

The roots of the decisions being made by your clients, potential clients and strategic partners are emotional and emotion drives much of what we remember – particularly long term memory.

Within the mid brain you have the powerful combination of the sensory, the emotional and memory coming together.

The new brain, the only part of the brain you are consciously aware of, justifies the decision that has already been made by the old brain and mid brain.

This is where data and statistics come in handy. You won’t build a relationship targeting the new brain but sharing proof about your success and expertise will smooth the decision making process.

Use your data, statistics and facts sparingly – just like sprinkles on a cookie. Too much and it gets sloppy and ugly.

2.jpg

Lead Your Target Audience with Emotion

Your interviews, surveys and research have given you insights into the experiences, needs, and emotions of your target audience – what is driving them and connecting them to you.

When you use the insights you have collected to create and customize your content they see themselves in your visuals and stories.
Your target audience gets a strong “you understand me” feeling.

It makes you seem familiar – you become safe and brought closer to their “self” to their old brain – because you speak their language using their keywords, key phrases and emotions.

Now, how do you get your personalized content out there AND found?

By engaging their brain.

You will create content using their keywords, their key phrases and mirroring their emotions to attract them.

Your insights and data will define the headlines; sub-headers; hashtags and labelled images you are going to create and share. Your insights and data will define the marketing materials you are going to create and the email campaigns you will launch.

Knowing your target audience, right down to each group that makes up your target audience and speaking directly with them in their language and echoing their emotions will set you apart from the crowd.

Let’s pretend for a moment that you have audience insights collected and that you’re ready to create some new content or repurpose some existing content on your website. Now what?

Use the emotions that were shared with you. Emotion can be triggered by emotive words, emotive visuals and even more enhanced by a combination of both.

Adding a few key words to an emotional visual will exponentially increase the immediate brain impact and how long the content is remembered.

Visuals are their own mini story

Stimulate the senses too. Have your visuals tell a story with a sensory touch. Find ways to engage all the senses like scent and touch with strategic visuals.

Just be sure the visuals you’re selecting reflect the audience you are trying to connect with. There needs to be a link between the written content and the associated visual that reflect the insights you have collected.

Brains immediately focus on visuals and will recall visuals more easily than any text you share.

[Tweet “Visuals are their own mini story #neuromarketing”]

Put pictorial superiority effect to work for you – create visuals that will catch your audience’s eye as they scan through their social media feeds. Create layers of detail and tell a cohesive story that involves food and has a sensory element.

Eye tracking studies show a high level of interest and engagement with these types of visuals.

Targeted Emotions and Visuals Create Epic Stories

When you take emotions and visuals and put them together you build some great storytelling potential. Stories are the most powerful way to draw people into your website and into a relationship with you.

Storytelling is the most effective way to engage both the old brain and the mid brain.

[Tweet “Storytelling is the most effective way to engage the brain”]

Share stories that reflect the “self” of your target audience, their state of mind and emotions using emotion words, sensory words and visuals.

Stay away from corporate jargon, acronyms and industry speak. Share stories using the language of your target audience.

Your stories don’t need to be long and complicated. Contrast captures the interest of the brain and holds it. This is your life before my services and your life after my services. Contrast renders your benefits obvious and easy for the brain to digest which makes the decision making process easier.

Why Your Marketing Strategy Needs Neuroscience

 

The holidays are the perfect time to get your marketing content ready to sparkle and shine. We are going to share the best in brain research so you can take your marketing strategy from bah-humbug to fa-la-la fabulous.

These tips will help your reach and have the kind of lasting impact you want with your target audience.

Does a brain targeted marketing strategy spark?

It absolutely does! Neuroscience marketing insights are what take content out of the routine and generic basket and move them into the basket that is driven with direction and purpose.

Without insights into your target audience, capturing and holding their attention is next to impossible. This leads to low engagement, shares, blog comments and retweets. The end result? Content creation and social media becomes a dreaded chore.

If you spend a few minutes interviewing your defined target audience you will end up with a toolbox full of neuromarketing insights. You start to know what your target audience is looking for and how to create it.

You will have keywords, key phrases, emotions, visuals and stories that engage their brain. Your marketing strategy will have focus and you’ll be less distracted by what your competitors are doing.

3.jpeg

How do I collect target audience insights?

The first step in effectively applying neuroscience to a marketing strategy is to understand your specific target audience. Who are YOU trying to connect with and how are your services unique and focused on them?

Let’s start by thinking about the groups that make up your target audience. Most of you will have current clients, prospective clients, strategic partners and possibly a board or investors you’re accountable to.

Step two, think about how your business is unique in your industry and in comparison to your competitors.

Knowing how you’re unique provides a clearer understanding of the value that you bring to each of the relationships you have defined. The relationships between you and your clients, strategic partners and board of directors.

The next step is a bit more hands on – you need to get some insights from each of these groups by asking them questions and listening to their answers.

Start with short interviews – nothing too formal just set aside 10 minutes to reach out to a few people within each of your defined groups. Find out directly how they feel connected to you and how they perceive your services.

Surveys are also great way to collect insights if face to face or phone interviews are not an easy option.

Each group will have its own set of questions and answers to explore. Not only does it give you the answers you need in order to create strategic content. It also gives you the keywords, key phrases and emotions straight from the source.

This is all gold when it comes to neuromarketing – this is the data you need in order to effectively engage the brain of your target audience. Once you have these basics mapped out you have created the foundation of your neuroscience based marketing strategy. You can personalize your content with their keywords, key phrases and emotions.

But before we jump into the content creation, let’s get to know the brain a little bit better.

Why brains love targeted marketing strategies

The old brain is the oldest part of the brain and is 100% focused on self and survival. This is why the insights gained from your interviews are so important. These interviews are sneak peeks into that “self” that your audience is sharing with you.

The mid brain developed next along the evolutionary scale and is related to emotion.

The new brain is the most recent addition to the human brain and is related to higher cognitive functions such as complex analysis.

The mid brain is the part of the brain that you actually want to direct your marketing efforts towards. The mid-brain is emotion driven. Many neuromarketing agencies such as Neuroset UK have repeatedly shown that audiences aren’t making logical decisions based on fact, they are acting on emotion.

The roots of the decisions being made by your clients, potential clients and strategic partners are emotional and emotion drives much of what we remember – particularly long term memory.

Within the mid brain you have the powerful combination of the sensory, the emotional and memory coming together.

The new brain, the only part of the brain you are consciously aware of, justifies the decision that has already been made by the old brain and mid brain.

This is where data and statistics come in handy. You won’t build a relationship targeting the new brain but sharing proof about your success and expertise will smooth the decision making process.

Use your data, statistics and facts sparingly – just like sprinkles on a cookie. Too much and it gets sloppy and ugly.

Lead Your Target Audience with Emotion

Your interviews, surveys and research have given you insights into the experiences, needs, and emotions of your target audience – what is driving them and connecting them to you.

When you use the insights you have collected to create and customize your content they see themselves in your visuals and stories.
Your target audience gets a strong “you understand me” feeling.

It makes you seem familiar – you become safe and brought closer to their “self” to their old brain – because you speak their language using their keywords, key phrases and emotions.

Now, how do you get your personalized content out there AND found?

By engaging their brain.

You will create content using their keywords, their key phrases and mirroring their emotions to attract them.

Your insights and data will define the headlines; sub-headers; hashtags and labelled images you are going to create and share. Your insights and data will define the marketing materials you are going to create and the email campaigns you will launch.

Knowing your target audience, right down to each group that makes up your target audience and speaking directly with them in their language and echoing their emotions will set you apart from the crowd.

Let’s pretend for a moment that you have audience insights collected and that you’re ready to create some new content or repurpose some existing content on your website. Now what?

Use the emotions that were shared with you. Emotion can be triggered by emotive words, emotive visuals and even more enhanced by a combination of both.

Adding a few key words to an emotional visual will exponentially increase the immediate brain impact and how long the content is remembered.

Visuals are their own mini story

Stimulate the senses too. Have your visuals tell a story with a sensory touch. Find ways to engage all the senses like scent and touch with strategic visuals.

Just be sure the visuals you’re selecting reflect the audience you are trying to connect with. There needs to be a link between the written content and the associated visual that reflect the insights you have collected.

Brains immediately focus on visuals and will recall visuals more easily than any text you share.

[Tweet “Visuals are their own mini story #neuromarketing”]

Put pictorial superiority effect to work for you – create visuals that will catch your audience’s eye as they scan through their social media feeds. Create layers of detail and tell a cohesive story that involves food and has a sensory element.

Eye tracking studies show a high level of interest and engagement with these types of visuals.

Targeted Emotions and Visuals Create Epic Stories

When you take emotions and visuals and put them together you build some great storytelling potential. Stories are the most powerful way to draw people into your website and into a relationship with you.

Storytelling is the most effective way to engage both the old brain and the mid brain.

[Tweet “Storytelling is the most effective way to engage the brain”]

Share stories that reflect the “self” of your target audience, their state of mind and emotions using emotion words, sensory words and visuals.

Stay away from corporate jargon, acronyms and industry speak. Share stories using the language of your target audience.

Your stories don’t need to be long and complicated. Contrast captures the interest of the brain and holds it. This is your life before my services and your life after my services. Contrast renders your benefits obvious and easy for the brain to digest which makes the decision making process easier.

Where is your target audience?

Have you ever wondered how your potential clients are making their decision between you and your competitors?

We know from neuroscience that it is not the new brain driving your business relationships. It is the unconscious part of the brain.

Placing your content focus on your high quality work and stellar credentials is not going to build a relationship with your target audience. Make it a priority to start building up your target audience knowledge and insights and then apply them to your marketing strategy.

Do not try to create content that speaks to everyone – it will not work.

Take the time to understand your specific target audience and these insights will give you the emotion, visuals and stories your marketing strategy needs. When a visitor lands on your website it will be warm and welcoming, like a hot cup of cocoa.

Are you ready to take your strategic marketing to a whole new level? Why not watch our free 30 minute neuromarketing training. You will learn marketing emotion, how to create powerful visuals and how to craft stories with lasting brain impact.

If everyone who read the articles and like it, that would be favorable to have your donations – Thank you.