Brain Imaging and Product Design: Towards New Evaluation Methods

By Jessy Barré, Amandine Afonso-Jaco, Stéphanie Buisine, Améziane Aoussat


This paper presents a literature review about the use of brain imaging for non-medical applications. Indeed, new scientific fields have been appearing for a few years around brain activity and have been developed using brain imaging: neuroergonomics, neuromarketing and neuroaesthetics. The literature distinguishes two fields of research:– The replacement of motor and cognitive functions: In this first category of research, humans are assisted by technology (computing and mechanics), which substitutes motor and/or cognitive actions with cerebral responses in order to compensate the effects of sensory or motor disorders. Brain imaging is therefore used to modify and improve human activity.– The construction of new knowledge about human beings: This second category concerns the interpretation of brain imaging in order to understand human beings (i.e. mental or social processes) without disturbing the subject’s activity (driving, shopping, working…).Our objective is to present a review of this research but also to set a prospective framework for using brain imaging in product design in order to overcome the limits of existing methods and improve the evaluation of products or concepts with more objective results. For example, EEG equipment could be used to measure the performance, the learning curve and the satisfaction of users interacting with a product.


  • ergonomics
  • neuroscience
  • neuroergonomics
  • evaluation methods
  • usability
  • brain imaging
  • EEG
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