I Feel It in My Brain: Understanding the Processes Underlying the Influence of Ad Affect on Memory Using fMRI

Tomer Bakalash, Hila Riemer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), in our previous research (Bakalash and Riemer 2013) we explored the mechanisms involved in the relationships between ad affect and ad memorability and provided first-time neural evidence for the involvement of sociocognitive processes. We now extend that study as we disentangle the roles of the valence and arousal dimensions in the influence of ad affect on memory and investigate the neural processes involved. We also explore the role of gender, thereby shedding further light on underlying mechanisms. Our results demonstrate that of the two dimensions of affect it is valence, not arousal, that drives the effect. Specifically, we show memory advantage for negative over positive ad affect. Memory advantage was accompanied by activation in brain regions associated with social cognition. Exploratory examination of gender differences reveals similar memory patterns across genders in all ad affect conditions except sadness: Women, but not men, demonstrated a memory advantage of sad (versus neutral) ads. Such gender differences might be due to emotional regulation processes—a direction which requires further examination. This study reinforces the role of a sociocognitive process in affective memory, which has been neglected in past research; it adds insights into the processes by which ad affect enhances memorability and into the boundary conditions for this effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-655
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Advertising
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Communication
  • Marketing


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