In a first-of-its-kind industry attempt, weekly science and technology news magazine New Scientist enlisted the services of neuromarketing research firm NeuroFocus to test three potential cover designs on buyers for its Aug. 7 issue. The hope was to find the most effective art to boost sales. “Like most newsstand magazines, we need to create covers which grab people’s attention and keep them engaged,” said New Scientist Deputy Editor Graham Lawton in a statement. Using eye-tracking technology and electroencephalographic (EEG) sensor-based measurements, NeuroFocus recorded and analyzed test subjects’ subconscious responses to all three covers. Six “NeuroMetrics”— attention, awareness, memory retention, novelty and purchase intent, in addition to emotional engage-ment—were used to determine the winning design. “This issue achieved strong U.K. newsstand sales for the normally quiet month of August—a 12% increase over the previous year—making it the second highest-selling issue of [this] year,” Lawton said. NeuroFocus employs doctorate-level experts in neuroscience and marketing from such leading institutions as Harvard, MIT and the University of California at Berkeley.