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Behavioral-network determinants of health outcomes.

Our behavior conditions our health. Exposure to infections depends on our and other people’s mobility. Exposure to healthy environments or habits depends on our choices and opportunities. Although human behavior is highly adaptive and dynamic, most social determinants of health are restricted to static aggregated representations of socio-demographic groups or residential environments.

We have started a program to understand behavioral-network determinants of health outcomes by modeling physical exposure between people and environments using large datasets of human mobility and activity and multilayer networks. For example, using mobility data and state-of-the-art epidemiological models, we built high-resolution temporal contact networks at the population scale. Having a direct link to human behavior allowed us to model and predict potential behavioral interventions (closing of venues, re-opening, quarantine, contact tracing) or the role of super-spreading events and settings in the propagation of the virus , or even analyze future trade-offs between the epidemic and economic dimensions of the pandemic. People’s movements also condition the food environments they are exposed to, impacting their diet and related disease. Most of the focus has been on static food environments around the home, such as food deserts. We use large datasets of human mobility and causal techniques to detect the food environments people are exposed to and food outlets they visit as they move through the day and study the time-dependent effect of food environments on more healthy dietary choices. By incorporating the intertwined effect between mobility, human behavior, and exposure to food environments, we can build more efficient interventions to promote healthier options and diets.

Recent papers

  • Quantifying the importance and location of SARS-CoV-2 transmission events in large metropolitan areas
    Alberto Aleta, David Martin-Corral, Michiel A. Bakker, Ana Pastore y Piontti, Marco Ajelli, Maria Litvinova, Matteo Chinazzi, Natalie E. Dean, M. Elizabeth Halloran, Ira M. Longini, Alex Pentland, Alessandro Vespignani, Yamir Moreno, Esteban Moro
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 119 e2112182119 (2022)
    PDF Journal
  • Effect of COVID-19 response policies on walking behavior in US cities
    Ruth F. Hunter, Leandro Garcia, Thiago Herick de Sa, Belen Zapata-Diomedi, Christopher Millett, James Woodcock, Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland, Esteban Moro
    Nature Communications 12 3652 (2021)
    PDF Journal
  • Modelling the impact of testing, contact tracing and household quarantine on second waves of COVID-19
    Alberto Aleta, David Martin-Corral, Ana Pastore y Piontti, Marco Ajelli, Maria Litvinova, Matteo Chinazzi, Natalie E. Dean, M. Elizabeth Halloran, Ira M. Longini Jr, Stefano Merler, Alex Pentland, Alessandro Vespignani, Esteban Moro, Yamir Moreno
    Nature Human Behaviour 4 964–971 (2020)
    PDF Journal

Esteban Moro

Professor at Northeastern University. Working on Complex Systems, Social Networks and Urban Science.