Amy S. Lu

Amy S. Lu
Northeastern University | NEU

PhD

About

58
Publications
31,480
Reads
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1,907
Citations
Citations since 2016
26 Research Items
1557 Citations
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Introduction
My area of interest is the persuasive mechanism of media and communication technologies and their health behavioral and psychological applications. Currently, my team is exploring the behavioral effect of stories in active games for promoting children's physical activities. For more, please visit https://www.northeastern.edu/amylu/lab/projects.html
Additional affiliations
May 2018 - present
Northeastern University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
June 2014 - April 2018
Northeastern University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
June 2012 - July 2014
Northwestern University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Education
September 2009 - June 2010
Baylor College of Medicine
Field of study
  • Behavioral Nutrition
August 2004 - May 2009
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Field of study
  • Mass Communication (Health Communication)
August 2002 - May 2004
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Field of study
  • Communication Studies

Publications

Publications (58)
Article
Full-text available
Background: The incorporation of narratives helps to enhance children's engagement in active video games (AVGs), thus increasing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Specific narrative elements, such as the visual representation of the characters' body shape, have been rarely manipulated to explore their role in modulating children's narr...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Active video games are a new method for increasing physical activity (PA). Fully immersive virtual reality (VR) is a hardware device on which an active video game (AVG) can run. Active (video games (VGs) in) VR, or AVR, might increase immersion, game engagement, and MVPA, thereby yielding greater exercise-related benefits, e.g., cogniti...
Article
Full-text available
Background Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) of children could indicate the potential of an exercise therapy to treat or prevent obesity. However, EPOC as a result of playing active video games (AVG) has been poorly investigated. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the rapid component of EPOC of children with healthy weight and overweig...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: The benefits of exergaming on executive function in children have been increasingly reported; however, weight-dependent effects of exergames on executive function, and inhibitory control in particular, remain poorly understood. We examined performance on an inhibitory control task at baseline and following acute bouts of exergaming in ch...
Article
Background Although physical activity (PA) has been shown in helping prevent and treat obesity, current PA interventions are still not effective in ameliorating the obesity epidemic. Additional forms of PA need to be investigated to improve PA engagement and outcomes. We hypothesize that pairing a narrative (i.e., story) with an active video game (...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant obstacles for clinical trials and human subject research. This paper discusses the challenges our study team encountered while implementing an eHealth intervention during the pandemic, including: increased dropout, cancellation and rescheduling rates, increased mailing returns and delays, soc...
Article
Full-text available
Physical activity refers to any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that results in energy expenditure above resting levels. There are multiple types of physical activities as differentiated by predominant physiologic effect. Physical activities can be measured by subjective and/or objective instruments. Physical activities have multiple h...
Article
Full-text available
PURPOSE: Active video games (AVG) can induce similar physiological responses to physical activities in children. Narratives could be an alternative for increasing players’ engagement due to their unique motivational properties We investigated the effects of an animated narrative video (NV) vs. an animated non-narrative video (N-NV) on heart rate (H...
Article
Full-text available
Background Active video games (AVGs) can increase physical activity (PA) and help produce higher physiological expenditure. Animated narrative videos (NVs) possess unique immersive and motivational properties. When added to AVGs, they have been found to increase moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) as opposed to the original no video condi...
Article
Full-text available
Background Physical activity is crucial for child obesity prevention and intervention. Narratives embedded in active games can increase children’s physical activity. Objective Little is known about the narrative characteristics that would motivate children to exercise. We attempted to fill the gaps in understanding regarding narrative design for a...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: This study examined differences in energy expenditure and bodily movement among children of different weight status during exergames that varied in mode and intensity. Methods: Fifty-seven 8- to 12-year-old children including overweight/obesity (n = 28) and normal weight (n = 29) played three 10-minute interval Xbox One exergames (Fruit...
Article
Background: Previous research indicates games for health have substantial promise in promoting change in children's diet and physical activity (PA) behavior for obesity and diabetes prevention, but the research has generally not been rigorous. The study reported here was an efficacy trial of two role-playing videogames played in sequence, "Escape...
Article
Full-text available
Games provide an attractive venue for engaging participants and increasing nutrition-related knowledge and dietary behavior change, but no review has appeared devoted to this literature. A scoping review of nutrition education and dietary behavior change videogames or interactive games was conducted. A systematic search was made of PubMed, Agricola...
Article
Full-text available
We assessed the agreement of two ActiGraph activity monitors (wGT3X vs. GT9X) placed at the hip and the wrist and determined an appropriate epoch length for physical activity levels in an exergaming setting. Forty-seven young adults played a 30-min exergame while wearing wGT3X and GT9X on both hip and wrist placement sites and a heart rate sensor b...
Article
Full-text available
Physically active video games (AVGs) have been found to positively impact physical activity behaviors, especially when a narrative is added. However, the motivational and cognitive benefits of adding narrative to AVG are unclear. We examined the separate and additive effects of narrative and AVG on physical activity and cognitive function versus an...
Article
Full-text available
Augmented feedback has motivational and informational functions in motor learning, and is a key feature of practice in a virtual environment (VE). This study evaluated the impact of narrative (story-based) feedback as compared to standard feedback during practice of a novel task in a VE on typically developing children's motor learning, motivation...
Article
Full-text available
As the field of games for health continues to gain momentum, it is crucial to document the field's scale of growth, identify design patterns, and to address potential design issues for future health game development. Few studies have explored the attributes and usability features of games for health as a whole over time. We offer the first comprehe...
Article
Full-text available
Obesity is one of the best-documented outcomes of screen media exposure. Many observational studies find relationships between screen media exposure and increased risks of obesity. Randomized controlled trials of reducing screen time in community settings have reduced weight gain in children, demonstrating a cause and effect relationship. Current e...
Chapter
Full-text available
Video games are an important part of children’s digital lives. Active video games (AVGs) are a potential intervention useful in combating childhood obesity. Narratives are stories with a beginning, middle, and end. Motivational ingredients in narratives can attract and maintain AVG players’ attention while delivering behavioral interventions. Few e...
Article
Full-text available
Background Active video games (AVGs) capable of inducing physical activity offer an innovative approach to combating childhood obesity. Unfortunately, children’s AVG game play decreases quickly, underscoring the need to identify novel methods for player engagement. Narratives have been demonstrated to influence behaviors. Objective The objective o...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: This article presents the results of interviews conducted with children regarding their cognitive and affective responses toward a narrative and a non-narrative cartoon. The findings will be used to further explore the role of a narrative in motivating continued active videogame play. Materials and methods: Twenty children (8-11 years...
Article
Full-text available
Videogames for health (G4H) offer exciting, innovative, potentially highly effective methods for increasing knowledge, delivering persuasive messages, changing behaviors, and influencing health outcomes. Although early outcome results are promising, additional research is needed to determine the game design and behavior change procedures that best...
Chapter
Full-text available
Objective: A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed to quantify the effectiveness of active videogames (AVGs) as obesity prevention interventions aimed at children and adolescents. Method: Studies were included that focused on children or adolescents (≤18 years), assessed BMI as the outcome measure, used one or more AVGs as intervention,...
Article
Full-text available
Videogames for health (G4H) offer exciting, innovative, potentially highly effective methods for increasing knowledge, delivering persuasive messages, changing behaviors, and influencing health outcomes. Although early outcome results are promising, additional research is needed to determine the game design and behavior change procedures that best...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this research is to explore the capacity of story to connect to a health-related videogame, as well as the qualities that may increase efficacy by making the story compelling. Parents of 3-5-year-old children often report difficulty getting their children to eat vegetables, which are protective against chronic illnesses. Videogames m...
Article
Full-text available
Narratives are stories with a beginning, middle, and end that provide information about the characters and plot. Exergames are videogames that require players to move or exercise. Narratives and exergames have seldom been examined together. Based on my review of the literature, there are five potential opportunities narratives could bring to exerga...
Article
Full-text available
Two recent systematic reviews have surveyed the existing evidence for the effectiveness of active videogames in children/adolescents and in elderly people. In the present study, effect sizes were added to these systematic reviews, and meta-analyses were performed. All reviewed studies were considered for inclusion in the meta-analyses, but only stu...
Article
Full-text available
Active videogames have the potential to enhance population levels of physical activity but have not been successful in achieving this aim to date. This article considers a range of principles that may be important to the design of effective and efficient active videogames from diverse discipline areas, including behavioral sciences (health behavior...
Article
Full-text available
There has been a debate about whether entertainment videogames should incorporate story or narrative. A concern has been whether story cut scenes break game immersion, and thereby minimize the fun of gameplay. Alternatively, games for health (G4H) have an agenda that goes beyond just having fun. The possible role of story in G4H has not been thorou...
Article
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A large sample of entertainment television programs that were aired on 28 channels in China in 2004 was analyzed for romantic and sexual content. Romantic scenes, typically portraying men and women already in committed relationships, appeared in 80% of the 196 programs analyzed. The analysis suggested that, according to Chinese television in the ea...
Article
Full-text available
Many investigators are considering developing videogames for health (video-G4Hs) but have questions about how to get started. This report provides guidance for investigators considering a G4H as a behavioral intervention procedure from a team of experienced G4H developers. Thirteen commonly asked questions are answered, including defining a G4H, co...
Article
Full-text available
Full Text Available at: http://www.jmir.org/2013/7/e142/ Blogs, or websites containing online personal journals, are a form of popular personal communication with immense potential for health promotion. Narratives are stories with a beginning, middle, and end that provide information about the characters and plot. Source similarity refers to the d...
Article
Full-text available
Childhood obesity is a global epidemic. Health videogames are an emerging intervention strategy to combat childhood obesity. This systematic review examined published research on the effect of health videogames on childhood obesity. Fourteen articles examining 28 health videogames published between 2005 and 2013 in English were selected from 2433 a...
Chapter
Communication relies on an essential instrumentation to enable its message to emerge as perceivable in our experience. This instrumentation, which comprises material and immaterial elements (from air waves to senses to media forms), is traditionally conceptualized as the communication channel. This chapter provides a novel lens to read the theoreti...
Chapter
Higher levels of vegetable intake have been associated with decreased risks of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, several cancers, and possibly obesity, but vegetable intake is generally low. Preference is an important determinant of vegetable intake, and food preferences are initiated early in life, but parents of preschoolers commonly report diffic...
Chapter
Full-text available
Ethnic minority children experience disparities in regard to diet, physical activity, and the resulting increased risks for obesity and adult cancers. Fruit and vegetable (FV) intake and physical activity (PA) are behaviors directly related to childhood obesity and adult cancer prevention. Helping children eat more FV and participate in more PA sho...
Chapter
Full-text available
Higher levels of vegetable intake have been associated with decreased risks of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, several cancers, and possibly obesity, but vegetable intake is generally low. Preference is an important determinant of vegetable intake, and food preferences are initiated early in life, but parents of preschoolers commonly report dif...
Article
Full-text available
This article reviews research in the fields of psychology, literature, communication, human-computer interaction, public health, and consumer behavior on narrative and its potential relationships with videogames and story immersion. It also reviews a narrative's role in complementing behavioral change theories and the potential of story immersion f...
Article
Full-text available
Our research indicated that 10-12-year-old children receiving two active Wii(™) (Nintendo(®); Nintendo of America, Inc., Redmond, WA) console videogames were no more physically active than children receiving two inactive videogames. Research is needed on how active videogames may increase physical activity.
Article
Full-text available
Lu A.S., Baranowski J., Islam N. & Baranowski T. (2012) How to engage children in self-administered dietary assessment programmes. J Hum Nutr Diet. ABSTRACT: Effectively assessing children's dietary intake is essential for understanding the complex relationships among dietary behaviours and obesity. Dietary assessment accuracy decreases when childr...
Article
Full-text available
Health game research has flourished over the last decade. The number of peer-reviewed scientific publications has surged as the clinical application of health games has diversified. In response to this growth, several past literature reviews have assessed the effectiveness of health games in specific clinical subdomains. The past literature reviews...
Article
Full-text available
Stories can serve as powerful tools for health interventions. Story immersion refers to the experience of being absorbed in a story. This is among the first studies to analyze story immersion's role in health videogames among children by addressing two main questions: Will children be more immersed when the main characters are similar to them? Do i...
Article
Full-text available
The uncanny valley has become synonymous with the uneasy feeling of viewing an animated character or robot that looks imperfectly human. Although previous uncanny valley experiments have focused on relations among a character's visual elements, the current experiment examines whether a mismatch in the human realism of a character's face and voice c...
Article
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Serious video games (VG) offer new opportunities for promoting health related diet and physical activity change among children. Games can be designed to use storylines, characters, and behavior change procedures, including modeling (e.g., engaging characters make changes themselves, and face and overcome challenges related to fruit and vegetable (F...
Conference Paper
China's overweight and obesity problems are increasing at an alarming rate, particularly among youth, due apparently to excessive caloric intake, low physical activity, and sedentary lifestyles. Increasing television (TV) viewing may also be a contributing factor. This study examines the relationship between TV watching, physical activity and sna...
Article
Full-text available
Is the intended race of anime characters distinguishable because of their facial features or are they too `international' to tell? This study addressed this question empirically by comparing the intended racial categories of static frontal portraits of 341 anime characters randomly selected from anime produced between 1958 and 2005 with the percept...
Article
Full-text available
Is the intended race of anime characters distinguishable because of their facial features or are they too ‘international’ to tell? This study addressed this question empirically by comparing the intended racial categories of static frontal portraits of 341 anime characters randomly selected from anime produced between 1958 and 2005 with the percept...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores the internationalization of Japanese anime (animation) in an effort to help explain the cultural politics behind this popular cultural product. The internationalization of anime includes the incorporation of de- Japanized elements into anime’s background, context, character design, and narrative organization. A theoretical fra...
Article
Full-text available
This study assesses the content of introductory research methods courses in mass communication doctoral programs in the United States. Directors of thirty-two graduate programs were surveyed about their doctoral programs' requirements for research methods. Syllabi for forty-three required introductory research methods courses were collected. An ext...
Article
Full-text available
Effectively assessing children's dietary intake is essential for understanding the complex relationships among dietary behaviors and childhood obesity. Lack of motivation and accuracy has been lingering problems in dietary assessment. Perspectives from media and communication research are reviewed and applied to the technology-based dietary assessm...

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