Neuro-IS: The potential of cognitive neuroscience for information systems research

Angelika Dimoka, Paul A. Pavlou, Fred D. Davis

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

71 Scopus citations


This paper proposes the idea of applying cognitive neuroscience theories, methods, and tools in Information Systems (IS) research (termed "Neuro-IS"), and introduces a research agenda for exploring the potential of cognitive neuroscience for IS research. Recent cognitive neuroscience discoveries have clarified the neural bases of human psychological processes and behavior and provided insights that may advance progress on core IS research questions on designing and deploying IT tools, technology adoption and use, e-commerce, virtual teams, human-computer interaction, decision making, and information sharing in organizational and market environments, among others. Functional neuroimaging techniques (fMRI, PET, EEG, MEG) have led to a better understanding of the brain areas and structures involved when people make decisions, deal with risk, uncertainty, and ambiguity, respond to rewards and social influences, trust and distrust, cooperate and compete, and acquire and process information. Similar to economics, marketing, and psychology, IS research may also benefit from integrating some of these new discoveries in cognitive neuroscience into IS theories about how IT supports human processes. Moreover, the use of neuroimaging techniques in IS research could complement traditional methods and data, such as self-report surveys, interviews, lab and field experiments, and archival data to integrate new objective sources of brain data for IS theory development and testing. This paper provides several examples of potentially fertile intersections of cognitive neuroscience and IS research on such areas as technology adoption and use, e-commerce, and group support systems. The paper also overviews today's functional neuroimaging tools and gives guidelines on how IS researchers can utilize these tools to obtain additional new insights into IS phenomena. Finally, it discusses the implications of incorporating cognitive neuroscience theories and functional neuroimaging tools in neuro-IS research, aiming to enhance the diversity of theories, methods, tools, and data in the portfolio of IS researchers.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2007
Event28th International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2007 - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: Dec 9 2007Dec 12 2007


Conference28th International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2007
CityMontreal, QC


  • Brain imaging
  • Cognitive neuroscience
  • Functional neuroimaging
  • Neuroeconomics


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