I’ve been so wrapped up in buying and moving into a house that I have not had a whole lot of spare time on my hands lately. Thinking Meat is busy thinking about lawn mowers and curtain rods and floor beams, and going through the predictable cycle of jettisoning some of the things I’ve accumulated while simultaneously spending large sums of money at Target and Lowe’s to accumulate different things. So I’m especially grateful to Mark for pointing me to this news story about bogus brand recognition. A recent study describes two experiments in which solving an anagram before being exposed to a brand name made participants more likely to think they remembered seeing the brand before, and to prefer the brand. The idea is that maybe something about the mental click of recognition that arises from correctly processing the anagram is transferred to the brand. The article describes this as a potential sales ploy; by manipulating people’s memories, marketers can sell us more stuff. Well, OK, I guess that’s inevitable, and this isn’t the first story about brain science that I’ve seen in which influencing people’s buying behavior seems to be the point. But as we learn more about the ways our brains can trip us up, I hope we also see some activism and education aimed at helping people resist whatever the advertisers dream up to entice or coerce us.