It is possible to predict the popularity of an unknown song through the brain activity of teenagers, according to Emory University study.
"We have scientifically demonstrated that you can, to some extent, use neuroimaging in a group of people to predict cultural popularity," said Gregory Berns, a neuroeconomist and director of Emory's Center for Neuropolicy.
Based on data collected from a 2006 study, the researchers showed how peer pressure affects the opinions of teenagers. The experiment had used relatively unknown songs to try to ensure that the teens were hearing them for the first time.
They discovered that the brain responses could predict about one-third of the songs that would eventually go on to sell more than 20,000 units.
The results also suggested that it may be possible to use brain responses from a group of people to predict cultural phenomenon across a population.
The study is published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.