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Self-related neural response to tailored smoking-cessation messages predicts quitting


Tailored health interventions can be more effective in eliciting positive behavior change than generic interventions, but the underlying neural mechanisms are not yet understood. Here, 91 smokers participated in a functional magnetic resonance imaging session and a tailored smoking-cessation program. We found that increases in activation in self-related processing regions, particularly dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, to tailored messages predicted quitting during a 4-month follow-up.

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Figure 1: Brain region activations during tailored messages associated with quitting.


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This work was supported by National Institute of Drug Abuse grant R21-DA024429-01 to H.F.C. and V.J.S.

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Authors and Affiliations



H.F.C. performed all aspects of this study, including experimental design, data collection, analyses, interpretation and manuscript preparation. S.S.H. and A.J.J. assisted in the data analyses, interpretation and manuscript preparation. T.A.P., R.C.W. and I.L. contributed to the experiment design, data interpretation and manuscript preparation. V.J.S. contributed to the experimental design.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hannah Faye Chua.

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Competing interests

Victor J Strecher is the Chief Visionary Officer and Founder of HealthMedia, a company that develops and licenses computer-tailored health promotion, disease prevention and disease management tools.

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Supplementary Figures 1–4, Supplementary Tables 1–5, Supplementary Results and Supplementary Methods (PDF 308 kb)

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Chua, H., Ho, S., Jasinska, A. et al. Self-related neural response to tailored smoking-cessation messages predicts quitting. Nat Neurosci 14, 426–427 (2011).

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