Neural correlates of gender congruence in audiovisual commercials for gender-targeted products: An fMRI study

Luis-Alberto Casado-Aranda, Laura Nynke Van der Laan, Juan Sánchez-Fernández

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores neural and self-report responses to gender congruence in product-voice combinations in commercials. An fMRI study was carried out in which participants (n = 30) were presented with gender-targeted pictures of characteristic male or female products accompanied by either gender congruent or incongruent voices. The findings show that attitudes are more positive toward commercials with gender congruent than with gender incongruent product-voice combinations. fMRI analyses revealed that primary visual brain areas, namely calcarine and cuneus, responded stronger to congruent than incongruent combinations suggesting that participants enhanced their endogenous attention toward congruent commercials. Incongruent combinations, by contrast, elicited stronger activation in areas related to the perception of conflicts in information processing and error monitoring, such as the supramarginal, inferior parietal gyri and superior, and middle temporal gyri. Interestingly, increased activation in the posterior cingulate cortex (an area related to value encoding) predicted more positive attitudes toward congruent commercials. Together, these results advance our understanding of the neural correlates of processing congruent and incongruent audiovisual stimuli. These findings may advice advertising professionals in designing successful campaigns of everyday products, namely by making use of congruent instead of incongruent product-voice combinations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4360-4372
Number of pages13
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


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