Studies testing the benefits of enriching smoking-cessation video ads with “attention grabbing” sensory features have yielded variable results. Dopamine transporter gene (DAT1) has been implicated in attention deficits. We hypothesized that DAT1 polymorphism is partially responsible for this variability. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined brain responses to videos high or low in “attention grabbing” features, indexed by “message sensation value” (MSV), in 53 smokers genotyped for DAT1. Compared to other smokers, 10/10 homozygotes showed greater neural response to High- vs. Low-MSV smoking-cessation videos in two a priori regions of interest: the right temporoparietal junction and the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. These regions are known to underlie stimulus-driven attentional processing. Exploratory analysis showed that the right temporoparietal response positively predicted follow-up smoking behavior indexed by urine cotinine. Our findings suggest that responses to “attention grabbing” features in smoking-cessation messages is affected by the DAT1 genotype.
- Health communication
- Message sensation value