Patterns of cortical activity during the observation of Public Service Announcements and commercial advertisings

Giovanni Vecchiato, Laura Astolfi, Febo Cincotti, Fabrizio De Vico Fallani, Domenica M. Sorrentino, Donatella Mattia, Serenella Salinari, Luigi Bianchi, Jlena Toppi, Fabio Aloise, Fabio Babiloni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In the present research we were interested to study the cerebral activity of a group of healthy subjects during the observation a documentary intermingled by a series of TV advertisements. In particular, we desired to examine whether Public Service Announcements (PSAs) are able to elicit a different pattern of activity, when compared with a different class of commercials, and correlate it with the memorization of the showed stimuli, as resulted from a following subject's verbal interview.Methods: We recorded the EEG signals from a group of 15 healthy subjects and applied the High Resolution EEG techniques in order to estimate and map their Power Spectral Density (PSD) on a realistic cortical model. The single subjects' activities have been z-score transformed and then grouped to define four different datasets, related to subjects who remembered and forgotten the PSAs and to subjects who remembered and forgotten cars commercials (CAR) respectively, which we contrasted to investigate cortical areas involved in this encoding process. . Results: The results we here present show that the cortical activity elicited during the observation of the TV commercials that were remembered (RMB) is higher and localized in the left frontal brain areas when compared to the activity elicited during the vision of the TV commercials that were forgotten (FRG) in theta and gamma bands for both categories of advertisements (PSAs and CAR). Moreover, the cortical maps associated with the PSAs also show an increase of activity in the alpha and beta band.Conclusions: In conclusion, the TV advertisements that will be remembered by the experimental population have increased their cerebral activity, mainly in the left hemisphere. These results seem to be congruent with and well inserted in the already existing literature, on this topic, related to the HERA model. The different pattern of activity in different frequency bands elicited by the observation of PSAs may be justified by the existence of additional cortical networks processing these kind of audiovisual stimuli. Further research with an extended set of subjects will be necessary to further validate the observations reported in this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3
JournalNonlinear Biomedical Physics
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 3 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Control and Optimization
  • Medicine(all)
  • Biophysics


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