Video that Converts: How the Brain Processes Video

Video is powerful. It can work for our business or against it. Here’s why.

I want to talk a little bit about how the brain processes video information.

Where is video processed in the brain?

Our eyes are at the front of our skull. Strangely enough our brains process video information at the back of our skull. This is called the visual cortex. It’s interesting that the visual cortex lies at the back of the brain when you think about what happens. When you see an image – a picture – what happens is your eyes take that information in. They actually cross over and then they deliver the information to the back of the brain. The visual cortex takes that image and pulls it apart. Part of it is sent to the part of the brain that can check for edges and angles. The part of the brain that understands faces will be sent facial information. If you think about it like this, every picture that comes in through your eyes is like smashing a bottle of information against the back of your head.

How the brain deals with video images.

What happens when we think about repeated images like video? Imagine throwing 30 bottles a second against the back of your viewers skulls. That’s the kind of information that they’re processing, and a couple of things happen. Number one, they’re getting a lot of information, so you can really deliver rich messages using video. But they’re also filtering. They’re having to average things out, so subtle details will get lost.

Respect video

In this series, we’ve talked about using things like motion to keep viewers attention, to keep them focused so that there’s less of this filtering. But understand that when you’re using video, it’s a powerful tool both because it floods the brain with information and contexts. If the message that you’re sending has a negative angle to it, you could be doing more harm than good. Think about the kind of data that you’re sending to your viewers when you do your video, and make sure you’re sending the things that will not be averaged out, and that will not give them a negative impression.

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Brian Massey is the Founder and Conversion Scientist at Conversion Sciences. He is the author of Your Customer Creation Equation. His rare combination of interests, experience and neuroses were developed over almost 20 years as a computer programmer, entrepreneur, corporate marketer, international speaker and writer.