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The World Health Organization estimates that by 2050 as many as 2 billion people may be over 60 years old. McMaster University has increased its focus on the wellbeing of our aging global population. One effort in this ongoing initiative was a research event held on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017 involving experts in Humanities and Business. The event explored what neuroscientific research says about the challenges and emerging innovation opportunities related to using digital technology to engage older consumers.

Read more about the event in this article and below.

The Boomer Brain: Research Workshop and Public Talk

Date: Monday, December 4

Location: McMaster University – Ron Joyce Centre, Burlington

Research Workshop: 2:30 – 5:30 p.m. & Public Talk: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

MIRA and the Faculties of Business and Humanities present a joint initiative exploring interdisciplinary connections between the neuroscience of aging and applied research in areas such as design thinking, neurophysiological tools, digital-aesthetic design, communications and marketing. The event consists of a research workshop and public talk titled “Neuroscience and the Older Consumer: Challenges and Opportunities” by Dr. Michael E. Smith, an applied cognitive neuroscientist and neuromarketing specialist. For more information and to register for the public talk, click here.

This event is possible through funding provided by the Labarge Centre for Mobility in Aging within the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging at McMaster University.

Public Talk Title: “Neuroscience and the Older Consumer: Challenges and Opportunities”

Abstract: The World Health Organization estimates that by 2050 as many as two billion people may be over 60 years old. This growing demographic will control a significant proportion of all wealth and disposable income.  Recent years have witnessed significant progress in understanding how the brain and body changes with age, and has also produced key insights into strategies that may promote successful and independent living in older adults. Despite these facts the consumer marketplace has not kept up with such trends. Most advertisers largely ignore this important demographic, and consumer-facing marketers have been slow to address the unique needs of this segment by creating next-generation product and services. This presentation will review related issues and identify emerging opportunities for innovation in this key business sector.

Bio: Michael E. Smith is a scientist and business professional whose career has spanned the academic, governmental, and commercial sectors. His research applies neuroscience methods to improve understanding of how people interact with technology and media, and how those interactions change with cognitive aging. Most recently he served as Vice President of Consumer Neuroscience Solutions at Nielsen, a global information services and consumer measurement company. In that role he consulted with business organizations on methods for leveraging neuroscience to improve consumer engagement with advertising and branding, and how they might adapt their communication strategies to better target older consumers. Over the last several years he has also focused on helping NGOs to use equivalent methods to improve and optimize their efforts to promote the public interest. Michael earned a PhD from the Psychology Department of UCLA, and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.