Wow. Just wow.Let me share two experiments that have changed my view on the power of brain imaging forever.Can your brain predict who will be the next Lady Gaga?The story starts in the research lab of Gregory Berns, a notable neuroscientist at Emory University. One day, Berns was conducting a typical fMRI study into consumer preferences. He wanted to find out how social proof information affected music preferences. Hardly a groundbreaking study – at first sight. As expected, music that was labeled to be popular among peers indeed increased liking and sparked up brain regions such as the caudate nucleus, insula and ACC.Think forward a few months later.While listening to the radio, Berns suddenly realized that some songs that were unknown at the time of his previous study had made their way to the top of the charts. What if there was some neural pattern that actually predicted which songs would become a hit and which would soon be forgotten? Excited, he dusted of his massive stack of neuroimaging data and self-reported liking scores, which he then compared to real world music charts.The outcome of his reexamination was nothing short of amazing.Neuroimaging scans predicted with surprising accuracy which songs would soon become hits. More specifically, future sing-alongs caused a spike in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). (For the more statistically attentive among us; the NAcc showed a moderate correlation to real world sales of 0.32). Interestingly: self-reported liking ratings had no predictive power whatsoever. Again, the brain beats the mouth in marketing research.