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MRI Scan Could Predict Ability to Quit Smoking

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) - Researchers may be able to predict how likely you would be to quit smoking by taking a scan of your brain, reports Discovery News.

The study, published in the journal Health Psychology, says that by performing an MRI scan, a doctor can study activity in the region of the brain tied to behavior. Researchers showed 28 heavy smokers "quit smoking" commercials and monitored activity in the medial prefrontal cortex of their brains. Those with activity in the region were "significantly linked to reductions in smoking behavior" in the following month.

"What is exciting is that by knowing what is going on in someone's brain during the ads, we can do twice as well at predicting their future behavior, compared to if we only knew their self-reported estimate of how successful they would be or their intention to quit," said lead author Emily Falk, director of the Communication Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Michigan.

Falk said the research could also help show what non-smoking ads would be most effective in getting smokers to quit.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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