Consumer Neuroscience: Attentional Preferences for Wine Labeling Reflected in the Posterior Contralateral Negativity

Letizia Alvino, Efthymios Constantinides, Rob H J Van der Lubbe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


During the decision-making process, consumers notice, inspect, and visually scan different products. External characteristics of a product, such as design, packaging, label, and logo, have been shown to strongly influence how customers perceive, assess, and select a product. Marketers have put a lot of effort into determining the factors that trigger consumers’ visual attention toward products, using traditional research methods, self-reports, or observations. The use of neuroscientific tools to study consumer behavior may improve our understanding of how external characteristics influence consumers’ visual attention. Consumer neuroscience research shows that preferences for a product may already be reflected in brain activity before customers make a final decision. Using electroencephalography (EEG), we investigated whether the design of different wine labeling influences individual preferences, reflected in the neural activity related to visual attention. More specifically, we examined whether the posterior contralateral negativity (PCN) can be used to assess and predict consumers’ preferences for a specific product based on its external characteristics. The PCN is commonly used to estimate attentional selection by focusing on stimulus-side dependent EEG lateralization above parieto-occipital areas. We computed the PCN to assess whether a certain wine label caught participants’ visual attention and additionally by comparing the PCN with behavioral data (wine preferences and reaction times) to determine whether early effects of visual attention could predict participants’ final preferences for a specific label. Our findings indicate that the PCN provides relevant information on visual attention mechanisms for external characteristics, as the view of the four labels modulated PCN amplitude. We hope this study can help researchers and practitioners in examining the effects of external product characteristics on consumer choice by estimating the changes in the EEG that are related to visual attention.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2021


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