Neural mechanisms underlying visual attention to health warnings on branded and plain cigarette packs

Maynard, Olivia M., Brooks, Jonathan C.W. ORCID:, Munafò, Marcus R. and Leonards, Ute (2017) Neural mechanisms underlying visual attention to health warnings on branded and plain cigarette packs. Addiction, 112 (4). pp. 662-672. ISSN 0965-2140

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)


Aims: To (1) test if activation in brain regions related to reward (nucleus accumbens) and emotion (amygdala) differ when branded and plain packs of cigarettes are viewed, (2) test whether these activation patterns differ by smoking status and (3) examine whether activation patterns differ as a function of visual attention to health warning labels on cigarette packs. Design: Cross-sectional observational study combining functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with eye-tracking. Non-smokers, weekly smokers and daily smokers performed a memory task on branded and plain cigarette packs with pictorial health warnings presented in an event-related design. Setting: Clinical Research and Imaging Centre, University of Bristol, UK. Participants: Non-smokers, weekly smokers and daily smokers (n = 72) were tested. After exclusions, data from 19 non-smokers, 19 weekly smokers and 20 daily smokers were analysed. Measurements: Brain activity was assessed in whole brain analyses and in pre-specified masked analyses in the amygdala and nucleus accumbens. On-line eye-tracking during scanning recorded visual attention to health warnings. Findings: There was no evidence for a main effect of pack type or smoking status in either the nucleus accumbens or amygdala, and this was unchanged when taking account of visual attention to health warnings. However, there was evidence for an interaction, such that we observed increased activation in the right amygdala when viewing branded as compared with plain packs among weekly smokers (P = 0.003). When taking into account visual attention to health warnings, we observed higher levels of activation in the visual cortex in response to plain packaging compared with branded packaging of cigarettes (P = 0.020). Conclusions: Based on functional magnetic resonance imaging and eye-tracking data, health warnings appear to be more salient on ‘plain’ cigarette packs than branded packs.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: O.M.M. and M.R.M. are members of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, a UKCRC Public Health Research: Centre of Excellence. The authors would like to acknowledge Anderson M. Winkler and Jamila Andoh for their advice and guidance regarding data analysis and Aileen Wilson for her assistance with scanning participants. Publisher Copyright: © 2016 The Authors. Addiction published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society for the Study of Addiction.
Uncontrolled Keywords: attention,eye-tracking,fmri,health warnings,plain packaging,policy,smoking,standardised packaging,tobacco,tobacco control,medicine (miscellaneous),psychiatry and mental health,sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2700/2701
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2022 11:31
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 01:35
DOI: 10.1111/add.13699

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item