Neural responses to elements of a web-based smoking cessation program

Hannah Faye Chua, Thad Polk, Robert Welsh, Israel Liberzon, Victor Strecher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Scopus citations


An increasing number of smokers are obtaining information from the web to help them quit smoking. In this study, we examined how smokers process different types of messages similar to those from a web-based smoking cessation program: personalization/feedback ("Jane, you are a 23-year old female smoker"), motivational ("If you quit smoking, you could save $1200 a year"), and instructional ("When you feel angry, talk to someone instead of smoking") messages. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, smokers were exposed to the messages. On a later session, participants completed an online tailored smoking cessation program and started on a 10-week course of nicotine patch. Results show that participants indeed process the messages differently, activating brain regions associated with self-related processing (personalization/feedback), anticipated reward processing (motivational messages) and rules processing (instructional messages). This research is relevant for advancing web-based tailored interventions for substance use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnnual Review of Cybertherapy and Telemedicine 2009 - Advanced Technologies in the Behavioral, Social and Neurosciences
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781607500179
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365


  • Addiction
  • Internet
  • Neuroimaging
  • Smoking
  • Substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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