EEG theta and N400 responses to congruent versus incongruent brand logos

Hossein Dini, Aline Simonetti, Enrique Binge, Luis Emilio Bruni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


Neuroimaging and behavioral studies have shown that brands convey meaning to consumers. To investigate the immediate reactions of the brain to brand logos, followed either by congruent or incongruent pictorial brand-related cues, can deepen understanding of the semantic processing of brands, and perhaps how consolidated the logo is in consumers’ minds. Participants were exposed to different brand-related image sets, that were either congruent (a match between brand-related images and brand logo) or incongruent (a mismatch between brand-related images and brand logo) while having their brain signals recorded. Event-related potential and EEG time–frequency domain features were extracted from the signals of the target image (brand logo). The results showed significantly larger N400 peak and relative theta power increase for incongruent compared to congruent logos, which could be attributed to an error-monitoring process. Thus, we argue that brands are encoded deeply in consumers’ minds, and cognitive processing of mismatched (vs matched) brand logos is more difficult, leading to greater error monitoring. The results were mostly consistent with previous studies investigating semantic incongruences in the linguistic field. Therefore, the error-monitoring process could be extended beyond linguistic forms, for example to images and brands.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4490
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022. The Author(s).


  • EEG
  • ERP
  • Time-frequency analysis
  • Brand


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