Concentration spans drop when online ads pop up

Measurements of brain activity show emotional state and concentration are affected by intrusive online marketing:

“Two Polish researchers have shown that measurements of the brain’s electrical activity can be used to test the influence of intrusive online advertisements on internet users’ concentration and emotions. The exploratory study was conducted by Izabela Rejer and Jaroslaw Jankowski of the West Pomeranian University of Technology in Poland, and is published in Springer’s journal Cognitive Processing. …

Two main effects were observed for most subjects. First, the presence of online advertisements influenced participants’ concentration. This was deduced from the significant drop in beta activity that was observed in the frontal/prefrontal cortical areas. According to the researchers, this could indicate that the presentation of the advertisement induced a drop in concentration levels.

Secondly, the appearance of the advertisement induced changes in the frontal/prefrontal asymmetry index. However, the direction of this change differed among subjects, in that for some it dipped, and for others it increased. ”

 

Reference: Rejer, I. & Jankowski, J. (2017). Brain Activity Patterns Induced by Interrupting the Cognitive Processes with Online Advertising, Cognitive Processing DOI 10.1007/s10339-017-0815-8

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