The following section is about the Brain...


  • "Your Brain on Nature" varies widely from "Your Brain on Media."

  • Fine Art, too has an influence that is worth taking a close look at to see which direction it leans towards.

  • First, a look at the influence of the Media upon your brain…

NeuroMarketing -- the Positive and Negative...

  • Your Brain has been stimulated by NeuroMarketing without your knowledge for years...
  • Advertisers have turned NeuroMarketing into a TRILLION dollar business to prompt you to purchase their products.  They know far more about your brain than you do!  
  • It is time for you to understand the power of visual (and other stimulation) upon your brain- so that you can protect yourself from overload and create an environment that supports you and your goals...
  • It is important to create "Positive NeuroMarketing" in your own living and work spaces...
  • I do not see any other reference to Positive NeuroMarketing on the internet-- so I will have to coin the word, and start the conversation...

Joe Camel: NeuroMarketing for children...


My first "AHA Moment" of looking into the world of NeuroMarketing was in 1981-- when while relaxing in bed and reading a magazine-- I flipped it over and "saw" the real Joe Camel for the first time.  RJ Renolds tobacco company always bought the back page in major magazines.   Joe Camel has since been gone for many years-- ostensibly because his cartoon image was attractive to children.  But there was more:  I saw how they sculpted the male anatomy into his face.  How his lip looked like female anatomy.  How the cigarette implanted was symbolic of the sex act.  Children are all attracted to the forbidden.  Joe had it!  He was doing everything forbidden-- and looking cool. His cartoon eyes with large pupils and shine marks were engaging to children.  The upwards gaze is significant of future outcome. His mouth showed a wry-knowing smile.  He was ALL reward-- sex, gambling, prestige, success-- and no effort or work shown to earn it. Much to say about his persona, but I will stop here.  This is NeuroMarketing at its worst: subliminal advertising.  It has bugged me for 39 years!

Social Media and Advertising are Changing our Brains

NeuroMarketing ultimately boils down to manipulation...


...and the younger generations in particular are being emotionally battered by Social Media— Instagram and FaceBook, etc.

A couple of my observations of how I think we are being bullied by visual imagery in particular follow.

We are stimulated by many things the Neuromarketers know: 

which buttons to push.

One of the Neuromarketing You Tubes to search is: “Is there a Buy Button inside the Brain?”


The Media is pushing these buttons— and because we do not know how our brains are wired to respond— we are stimulated to act the way the Media wants us to act.

And we participate too— because the more we respond— the more the Media will give us. A vicious circle.

Some NeuroMarketing Concepts

Terminology and why advertising is the way it is:

 Advertising Media is simply trying to produce the best product in order to increase sales.   Your brain STIMULATED by the media RESPONDS to:

          Things that move quickly

          Heightened sensory stimulation: (Loud, Colorful, Unusual Combinations)

          Loss Aversion or FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)  (The Negativity Bias at work)

          Threats of Punishment  (we are highly motivated by fear)

          Modeling/Leading/ Mirroring/Anchoring

          Offers of Reward

          Confirmation Bias   (It likes to confirm what it already knows)

          Emotional Messages (like happy puppies)


The effect of information overload is:

         Cognitive Dissonance

         Decision Paralysis 

A great visual from the website

The article "The Visual Mind: why Diagrams work" by Liza Mock is worth a read...


Learning from Nature's Designs: Form follows Function

Nature is Beautiful by Design:  it's Therapeutic

  • Parasympathetic imagery:
  • Nature's "All OK" images:  garden, still water, peaceable kingdom, calm, quiet, metabolizing
  • Nature's Creation Images: order, structure, growth,  nurturing, mothering, colors of life

  • Sympathetic Overload Imagery:
  • Nature's Warning Signs: bright... striped... sharp... pointed... threatening... stiff... appearing larger
  • Nature's Dissolution/Destruction images:  chaos... disarray, disorder, scattered, evidence of speed, consumption, colors of death or danger.  Over excitation to prompt a (danger) response: Flight... Fight... or Freeze

What do we get when we look at the Media today?

The SELL Danger Response

UCSD Researcher Dr Robert Naviaux coined the term "Cell Danger Response":

        "One of our research aims is to test that hypothesis that all chronic diseases are organ-selective manifestations of the cell danger response (CDR)6. The CDR is ultimately controlled by the conversation between mitochondria, the nucleus, and neighboring cells. This happens because mitochondrial are located at the hub of the wheel of cellular metabolism. All the air we breathe and all the nutrients we eat and drink are ultimately delivered to mitochondria to help us move, think, work, and play. Mitochondria continuously monitor the chemical environment of the cell and instantly respond to danger by changing their activities from healthy function to cellular defense7. When cells go to war, they do what nations do when they go to war. When the CDR is activated, cells harden their borders, don’t trust their neighbors, and restrict the exchange of resources with their neighbors."


I believe a similar thing is going on with our "Brains on Media:"

            "The SELL Danger Response"

We are unable to process the speed, volume, content and amount of the information we take in through visual and other senses-- and the result is a shut down like Dr Naviaux explains above. 


We are experiencing a Cognitive Dissonance in our 24/7 barrage of constant Media.  

 Nature's normal influences our brains have been used to for millennia are crowded out by manmade substitutes.

In Progress Infographic...


Drug Company Advertising

  • Soon....
  • Modeling behavior in drug ads-- leading the witnesses
  • Cognitive Dissonance
  • Neuro Linguistic Programming
  • Linking to other senses and concepts
  • Camouflage and Decision Paralysis
  • Shell games, eye tracking and fast media editing
  • The Steady Gaze of the drug company TV ad actors-- to hold you in communion

 AMA has called for a ban on ads on TV… I support this...

95% of Decisions are Made by the Subconscious

  • A brief overview of Dr Rick Hanson's work--

 An update on the concept of  your internal Lizard, Mouse and Monkey parts of the brain.  Now we know the "Lizard Brain" is not confined to the Amygdala-- but we do need good simple ways to understand our brain.

More soon...

Is anyone talking about our Internal Parrot?  

What we can learn about the Brain from Taoist Art

Ancient Chinese Woodblocks of Serene Scenes always depicted the "Big Picture"

In this lovely woodblock print from the late 1800's your eyes meet several concepts that they take in to your brain for your brain to process...





              Negative Space

This is a wonderful example of Parasympathetic Art!

And yet you look closer and see that there is death depicted as well.

When looking Taoist Art, there is always reference to the entire Big Picture.

The focus is on the beauty of Life. But the concept that life can only be supported by death.  So-- there is always an homage to death.

Thich Nhat Hanh, the Zen Buddhist teacher has a wonderful succinct quote:

              "No Mud.

               No Lotus."

What an effective way to bring in information into the brain this is.  The Nature beauty, and serenity draw you in.  The message (advertising) is a great lesson in living life.  

This is a visual image we can process without going into Sympathetic overload!

This is an example of our "Brains on Nature."  

"Brain Based Art"

Being able to process the visual (and other) information we take in -- to metabolize it, to use it, to discard what is not needed is a similar function to what we do with our bodies processing food, taking in oxygen, processing the toxins out, etc.

Information that cannot be processed by the brain includes Cognitive Dissonance.

From Wiki: "In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the experience of psychological stress that occurs when a person holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, values, or participates in an action that goes against one of these three. "Wikipedia


Bullying in Social Media

The Primate Intimidation Stare:  in automotive design, in fashion advertising...


Vision, Eyes and Advertising


Retraining Your Brain: Tips from Rick Hanson...

author of Buddha's Brain...

Rest and recovery-- give it time to sink in:

  • Take only 20 seconds to focus on what you want to drive into long term memory.  For me-- when I had to give up art-- it was appreciating the intense red of the geraniums outside: "Color that exceeds its form"
  • Caudate nucleus -- a part of the reward center of the brain-- how nuns lit this up: by thinking of their spiritual experiences.   Why we need inspirational art in our lives-- whether representational or non representational.  

Art IS a symbolic language.  See the symbolism in all forms of design-- both in Nature and manmade-- and use it wisely to inspire you, uplift you, and support you in your goals.

What is Brain Based Art?

Soon to come...


Zen and the Art of looking at Art

  •  The  whole big picture helps us to reframe what is important: savor the beauty of the moment 
  • The Off Switch:  
  • Negative Space.  We need room to process-- pacing, flow of one thing into another -- not a fire hose...
  • Lao Tzu: "Before action, there is rest." 
  • more...

Comments on Lisa Barrett Feldman's work

I love it-- and want to add in my 2 cents...

On Smiles being natural in Children...

(Study of children smiling 400 times per day)

but in many cultures-- particularly in harsh climates-- stoicism was the adult model of behavior-- to be adopted by children very early on in some cases. 

(My article for the Weston A Price Foundation on the Native Americans and their closed mouth/stoic expressions:  100 Years Before Weston A Price-- the Observations of George Catlin)

A lack of a smile on an adult can also be due to jaw or dental damage

For the purpose of advertising in the US-- a smile is widely recognized to denote happiness and certainly the number of smile related logos will support this.