Skip to main content

New VUB spin-off iCense studies people’s authentic emotions

  • September 30, 2020

Knowing what citizens and consumers really think of new measures, products or advertising is crucial for governments and businesses. But it is often difficult to find out. iCense, a new spin-off from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, now offers neuro-research services that measure implicit emotional reactions and thus help to better understand and predict behaviour. In addition, it can provide companies and governments with advice and courses on neuroscience and marketing.  

When people come into contact with information or products, it triggers a series of reactions in their bodies that they are often unaware of, such as changes in their heartbeat or eye movements. Thanks to powerful algorithms developed within VUB and high-tech applications such as eye-tracking devices and sensors that measure emotions and engagement, these bio-signals can be mapped. This gives a deeper insight into the emotional reactions of consumers that ultimately determine their behaviour.

Professor Malaika Brengman of VUB: “It has long been known that our behaviour is strongly influenced by these implicit emotional reactions. For some years, there has been growing interest in this in the business world, especially in marketing departments, and neuromarketing has even given rise to a new discipline. Of course, iCense’s services can also be applied in many other domains. For example, we can measure what citizens really think of the corona measures taken by the government or how speed awareness campaigns are processed. It is even possible to predict the risk of burnout among employees, which is useful for HR. On the basis of these insights, measures can be improved so that they are more effective.”

iCense was recently founded by Professor Davide Rigoni, in collaboration with the VUB research group Marketing and Consumer Behaviour, led by Prof Brengman. The spin-off targets a wide range of companies and policy organisations.

Read more on VUB Today and De Tijd
Learn more about the spin-off here