Fast food logos may be branded on a child's brain, eliciting feelings of pleasure at merely their sight found a new study.
Researchers at the University of Missouri-Kansas used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to show the effects on children of viewing fast-food logos.
They found that upon seeing logos like McDonald's golden arches brain regions controlling self-control and motivation lit up, reported Medical Daily.
They also found that they lit up in places that nonfood items did not affect, meaning that the areas likely relate to the pleasure food brings.
“I was really interested in examining how kids’ brains responded to food stimuli,” said study author Amanda Bruce of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, reported Red Orbit.
“When we validated the images, it was fascinating. When they saw a well-known food or drink logo, their faces would light up and their tone of voice would change."
The study used 60 familiar brand logos and got 32 young people to rate them.
They did so while hooked up to brain scans which revealed that fast-food logos triggered the most powerful reactions in the brain.
“Kids brains are different from adults in terms of neural development. The prefrontal cortex which helps us with self-control, planning and inhibitions is the last to mature," said Bruce, according to the Toronto Star.
Children, then, are more susceptible to “very motivating, happy-inducing” marketing," she continued.
Bruce said that she would be expanding the study to young people and adults to better understand how brands affect not only our consumer choices but also our very way of thinking.