NeuroIS: The potential of cognitive neuroscience for information systems research

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

196 Scopus citations


This paper introduces the idea of drawing upon the cognitive neuroscience literature to inform IS research (herein termed "NeuroIS"). Recent advances in cognitive neuroscience are uncovering the neural bases of cognitive, emotional, and social processes, and they offer new insights into the complex interplay between IT and information processing, decision making, and behavior among people, organizations, and markets. The paper reviews the emerging cognitive neuroscience literature to propose a set of seven opportunities that IS researchers can use to inform IS phenomena, namely (1) localizing the neural correlates of IS constructs, (2) capturing hidden mental processes, (3) complementing existing sources of IS data with brain data, (4) identifying antecedents of IS constructs, (5) testing consequences of IS constructs, (6) inferring the temporal ordering among IS constructs, and (7) challenging assumptions and enhancing IS theories. The paper proposes a framework for exploring the potential of cognitive neuroscience for IS research and offers examples of potentially fertile intersections of cognitive neuroscience and IS research in the domains of design science and human-computer interaction. This is followed by an example NeuroIS study in the context of e-commerce adoption using fMRI, which spawns interesting new insights. The challenges of using functional neuroimaging tools are also discussed. The paper concludes that there is considerable potential for using cognitive neuroscience theories and functional brain imaging tools in IS research to enhance IS theories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-702
Number of pages16
JournalInformation Systems Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Cognitive neuroscience
  • Functional brain imaging
  • NeuroIS
  • Neuroeconomics
  • Neuromarketing


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