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Brain activation in response to personalized behavioral and physiological feedback from self-monitoring technology: pilot study

Whelan, Maxine E.; Morgan, Paul S.; Sherar, Lauren B.; Kingsnorth, Andrew P.; Magistro, Daniele; Esliger, Dale W.


Maxine E. Whelan

Paul S. Morgan

Lauren B. Sherar

Andrew P. Kingsnorth

Daniele Magistro

Dale W. Esliger


Background: The recent surge in commercially available wearable technology has allowed real-time self-monitoring of behaviour (eg, physical activity) and physiology (eg, glucose levels). However, there is limited neuroimaging work (ie, functional magnetic resonance imaging [fMRI]) to identify how people’s brains respond to receiving this personalized health feedback and how this impacts subsequent behavior.
Objective: Identify regions of the brain activated and examine associations between activation and behavior.
Methods: This was a pilot study to assess physical activity, sedentary time, and glucose levels over 14 days in 33 adults (aged 30 to 60 years). Extracted accelerometry, inclinometry, and interstitial glucose data informed the construction of personalized feedback messages (eg, average number of steps per day). These messages were subsequently presented visually to participants during fMRI. Participant physical activity levels and sedentary time were assessed again for 8 days following exposure to this personalized feedback.
Results: Independent tests identified significant activations within the prefrontal cortex in response to glucose feedback compared with behavioral feedback (P

Journal Article Type Article
Journal JMIR (Deleted)
Electronic ISSN 1438-8871
Publisher Journal of Medical Internet Research
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 11
Article Number e384
Keywords functional magnetic resonance imaging; neuroimaging; physical activity; sedentary behavior; interstitial glucose
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:
Additional Information Whelan ME, Morgan PS, Sherar LB, Kingsnorth AP, Magistro D, Esliger DW Brain Activation in Response to Personalized Behavioral and Physiological Feedback From Self-Monitoring Technology: Pilot Study J Med Internet Res 2017;19(11):e384


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