One ‘camp’ says that neuroscience is the next great thing for business and can be applied to everything from marketing to training; and another camp warns that we should be wary of applying it because much of the science is, in fact, pseudoscience. Before we look at where neuroscience may be applied meaningfully to business, it’s important to consider the limitations.Firstly, while the brain and nervous system has been studied for centuries, it’s only in the past decade or so that imaging techniques (functional MRI or fMRI) have become widely enough available to consistently image the brain. This has, in many cases, replaced observational neuroscience, and the use of surveys for gathering information. https://cyborggainz.com/f/neuro-grips-a-natural-way-to-biohack-your-brain
It’s worth remembering that the main impetus behind the growth of neuroscience has been to better treat illnesses and to understand the workings of the brain for clinical purposes – not to help motivate staff, improve business strategy, or to sell more products.The science should be considered to be still in its infancy – and even the most positive of neuroscientists would tell you that we only know a fraction of what there is to know about the workings of the brain.Neuroscience may be limited by the high costs involved in running studies, as well as the quality of the set up and purpose of the studies themselves. But there is another limitation in the interpretation of the data from the studies.
Few of us are trained in neuroscience, so business leaders are reliant upon those with enough grasp of the science to ‘translate’ it into a business context. Are the conclusions realistic or are they being ‘stretched’? It is easy for information to be manipulated, lost in translation, or simply misinterpreted by the receiving party.For these reasons, a healthy wariness of neuroscience in a business context is advisable.The temptation for organizations is that, because clinical studies provide hard, objective data to back up the conclusions, these conclusions are new ‘truths’ that can confirm or deny past business approaches, suggest new strategies, and be applied universally.As already stated, neuroscience is in its infancy, and studies just ten years old are often superseded by new findings.Neuroscience, however, can be very useful in the hands of entities that understand the science AND appreciate its limitations. They are often is able to draw reasonable conclusions about the nature of human behaviour and may be able to ‘bridge’ the considerable gap between the science and its application in the real world.