Amy Shirong Lu, Northeastern University

Amy Lu


Associate Professor

Public Health and Health Sciences

Research Interests

Behavioral science, child obesity, games for health, narratives, physical activity


Amy is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies of the College of Arts, Media and Design and in the Department of Health Sciences of the Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University. She directs the Health Technology Lab, where she studies the persuasive mechanism of media and communication technologies, as well as their health behavioral and psychological applications and mechanisms. Her current projects focus on using narratives and active video games to promote physical activities and cognitive function among children.

Amy has secured more than $4.15 million in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding as Principal Investigator or sub-contract PI since the Lab’s inception in 2012. Her work has appeared in Games for Health, Scientific Reports, Pediatrics, and Journal of Clinical Medicine. Amy has served as a reviewer on multiple NIH grant review panels and is an ad hoc reviewer for over 25 international peer-reviewed journals in communication, medicine, public health, game studies, psychology, education, computer science, and media.

Selected Publications

Lu, A. S. & Kharrazi, H. (2018) A state-of-the-art systematic content analysis of games for health. Games for Health Journal, 7(1), 1-15. PMID: 29293368

Alon, D., Sousa, C. V., & Lu, A. S.(2021) What type of body shape moves children? An experimental exploration of the impact of narrative cartoon character body shape on children’s narrative engagement, wishful identification, and exercise motivation. Frontiers in Psychology, 12. PMID: 34322057

Sousa, C. V., Hwang, J., Cabrera-Perez, R., Fernandez, A., Misawa, A., Newhook, K. & Lu, A. S. (2021) Active video games in fully immersive virtual reality elicit moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and improve cognitive performance in sedentary college students. Forthcoming at Journal of Sport and Health Science. PMID: 34004390

Sousa, C. V., Fernandez, A., Hwang, J. & Lu, A. S. (2020)The effect of narrative on physical activity via immersion during active video game play in children: Mediation analysis. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22(3), e17994. PMID: 32229466

Hwang, J., Fernandez, A. & Lu, A. S. (2018) Application and validation of activity monitors’ epoch lengths and placement sites for physical activity assessment in exergaming. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 7(9), 268. PMID: 30208567

Hwang, J. & Lu, A. S. (2018) Narrative and active video game in separate and additive effects of physical activity and cognitive function among young adults. Scientific Reports-Nature, 8(1), 11020. PMID: 30030456

Community Service

Host, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) Site Visit, July 2017, 2018, Boston, MA

Judge, Michael Driscoll School Science Fair, March 2017, 2018, Brookline, MA