Boffins have come up with neuromarketing, a brain-imaging technique that can allegedly read answers written in the brainwaves.
According to Thom Noble, managing director of Neurofocus Europe, the company running the demo, the technology addresses the biggest issue facing conventional market research.
"What people say and what they think is not always the same," New Scientist quoted Noble as saying.
A forthcoming paper by behavioural economist Gregory Berns of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and cognitive neuroscientist Dan Ariely of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience argued neuromarketing techniques can really work in revealing information hidden to conventional methods.
But the authors also pointed out the ethical risks involved with neuromarketing, such as privacy concerns over "mind reading" and suspicion it will be used to "trick" people into buying things they don't want or need.