Finding the 'Buy Button'

That is why from the start he demanded that the results of the work be subject to peer review and published in scientific journals. For the work to have real scientific validity, it will need to be replicated with similar results, he said.

In Ruskin's view, the goal of the work can only be to benefit corporations, and for that reason Commercial Alert has asked for a federal investigation of whether Emory should have its government funding cut off.

"Whatever its theoretical and hypothetical uses [and these are chilling for their own reasons] in actual practice it most likely will be used directly by these corporations to push products that are implicated in disease and human suffering and that impose greats costs upon individuals, families and the society at large," Commercial Alert's letter to Division of Compliance Oversight for the Office of Human Research Protections director Kristina Borror said.

Despite his belief that the research has "a bias to a particular type of abuse," Rushkoff says he doesn't really believe that neuromarketing would lead to a nation of zombies having their "buy button" pushed over and over.

"These things never work," he said. "Or if they do, they don't work for long."

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