Wait, wait, don’t tell me!

day dreaming1We have all been there. It’s late in the day you’re feeling tired, so your mind begins to wander. New research suggests that daydreaming is totally normal and is actually encouraged to exercise a healthy mind. According to research psychologist Peter Killeen, “Your neurons can fire for a while with the energy they have inside, but not for long: After a dozen seconds, each neuron needs more energy.” If your brain does not have enough energy, your neurons will fire more slowly and your chances of focusing on one thing quickly decrease.

How do we deal with the wandering? One way is to recognize that you have a finite attention window and to structure your workflow to match that same capacity. In other words, to be the most productive and creative it’s best to work in a series of bursts and unplug throughout the workday. By switching tasks we can delay mental fatigue. It’s a way of being creative,” says Killeen. “It’s a way of giving the linear programming, engineering, hard core work in the brain a break.”

What sparked our fire: Creative problem solving completed by creating unique contexts around each problem.

Is this solution enough to combat the addiction to multi-tasking that we already see in millennials?


-Canopy Team

Brain power

brain 4The human brain is a mysterious place where powerful connections, signals and chemical reactions are intertwined. A recent Kickstarter project called Emotiv Insight, is beginning to explain what goes on in our brains. Emotiv Insight is a small headset that reads your brainwaves and translates the data into something meaningful and easy to understand.

To understand how it works requires a bit of thinking. Our brain is made up of billions of nerve cells called neurons, and when these neurons interact through a chemical reaction, they emit an electrical impulse. Emotiv observes and translates these impulses into simplified data. The headset and its data can help you improve your attention, focus, engagement, interest, excitement, affinity, relaxation as well as reduce stress levels.

The headset can also understand basic mental commands like push, pull, levitate and rotate. The device can even detect facial expressions such as blinks, winks, frowns, surprises, clenching and smiles.

What sparks our fire: The future is in our brains.



-Canopy Team

Positive you know what’s influencing you? Think Again



Brand awareness is the ultimate objective for most marketers. However, Douglas Van Praet, a marketing and neuroscience expert, recently discussed why traditional research misses the mark on what actually drives consumers to purchase. Ever heard of the term “gut reaction” ? A consumer knows they like something but they are unaware of what, or how, they were influenced. Simply put, we can’t explain what we don’t know, which has been credited as the, “I like it, but I don’t know why” effect. Praet goes on to discuss another psychological idea that effects consumers, learning without knowing. Our brain’s emotional side has the ability to function independently from our cortex, the epicenter of consciousness. This enables us to attribute a positive and/or negative association to a product without knowledge or reasoning.This concept proves why Coke Clear and Crystal Pepsi were huge flops in the 1990’s. Consumers were unaware of the positive association they subconsciously made with the dark brown color of both soda brands. Eloquently put by Praet, “We see with our brains not just our eyes.”

You must be asking, so what does this mean to the marketing world? Praet has constructed a seven-step process to break through the clutter.

  1. Interrupt the Pattern.
  2. Create Comfort.
  3. Lead the Imagination.
  4. Shift the Feeling.
  5. Satisfy the Critical Mind.
  6. Change the Associations.
  7. Take Action.

What sparks out fire: The unconscious level of thought involved in the consumer’s decision-making process.

How will this change the way companies market to their consumers?


-Canopy Team

Shockingly creative

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There are shocking new developments in neurological creative stimulation. Dr. Sharon Thompson-Schill, director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania, has concluded that sending very low doses of electric current into our brain’s prefrontal cortex can actually increase our creativity.  As an example, Dr Thompson-Schill shows people tennis balls and asks their first thought. Those participants not hooked up to electrodes typically answer, playing tennis, but those hooked up to electrodes might be more creative, proposing to cut the tennis balls in half and put them on the ends of chairs to make the chairs slide easier. The boost in creativity lasted the length of time someone was hooked up to the electrodes, and did not last more than an hour after.

What sparked our fire: Physical stimulation used to fire creative neurons.

Does this discovery shock you?


-Canopy Team