What if TV networks could know whether they have a hit before a show airs?

That’s the promise being made by Immersion Neuroscience, which launched the initial version of a neurotracking platform in March to measure people’s immersion in video content and live experiences via a small wearable that straps onto the forearm.

In a new study, to be released November 6, the company claims to be able to classify whether a show would be top-rated with an 84% accuracy, using only neurological data.

Immersion Neuroscience conducted the study to test whether its platform could be used to successfully predict whether a show would receive high ratings. It asked Dorsey Pictures, a television production company, to choose 25 shows for them to test retroactively–with half the shows rated as top-rated and the other half as bottom-rated, based on data obtained from Nielsen and networks.

Eighty-four participants between the age of 25-58 watched the first act of 25 different shows–mostly reality programs–in random order while hooked up to a neurosensor that measured their immersion in the show, based on heart rate and oxytocin levels. Immersion Neuroscience then used participants’ immersion levels to predict the probability that the show would fall into the top-rated category or not.

Surprisingly, self-reports by participants on how likely they’d be to watch the show only predicted top-rated shows with a 17% accuracy—in contrast to the 84% accuracy from neurological data alone. Including self-reports did not improve the accuracy of the predictive models.

Read the full article by Joe Lazauskas here