Brain Mapping and Visual Attention on Cigarette Packs Based on Electroencephalography and Human Eye Tracker between Teen Smokers and Nonsmokers


Background: An effort to prevent teenage smoking behavior was made by placing pictorial health warnings (PHW) on cigarette packages. Scientific data related to teenagers’ smoking behavior need to be supported. However, the difference between the brain activities of smokers and nonsmokers is not yet known.

Purpose: This study describes and compares the brain activity and visual attention between smoking and nonsmoking teenagers.

Methods: The study examined 16 teenagers (seven smokers, nine nonsmokers) aged 13–18 years at the Central Laboratory of Neuroscience Uhamka (PNU) in September– October 2021. Their brain activity was measured using electroencephalography (EEG) in a resting state for approximately 10 minutes. The EEG electrodes were installed based on the 10–20 International Systems approach. Furthermore, PHW were demonstrated to participants with the concept of go/no-go for 5 minutes based on Human Eye Tracker (HET) technology.

Results: The results showed differences in visual attention to the PHW on cigarette packages. In addition, smokers compared to nonsmokers were inclined to avoid the PHW. However, the brain activity between the two groups did not differ in terms of brain wave patterns, especially in the forebrain, in Delta, Theta, or Gamma waves.

Conclusion: Considering the differences in visual attention, it is necessary to redesign the PHW on cigarette packages so that smokers can no longer avoid the image to suppress smoking behavior. In addition, explaining the differences in brain activity, the duration of smoking, and the level of addiction to cigarettes need to be sharpened.

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