Does MRI Acoustic Noise Affect Chemosensory Perception?

Remco C. Havermans*, Anouk Hendriks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction. Sounds can affect food and flavor perception. For example, loud noise can affect taste perception. In the present study, we examined whether exposure to ~ 80-dB magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) acoustic noise affects taste perception.
Methods. Participants (N = 27) came to the lab twice for a taste test, a smell test, and evaluating sweet and savory food items: once when continuously being exposed to loud MRI acoustic noise and once when being exposed to much quieter background noise. It was hypothesized that exposure to loud noise would impair taste perception, especially identifying and detecting sweet taste, and that it would decrease liking for the taste of particularly sweet foods.
Results. Neither overall taste detection nor sweet taste detection was affected by exposure to MRI acoustic noise. Further, we found no effect of noise on sweet food liking, but exploratory analyses do imply such an effect of MRI noise on liking for savory foods, with these foods being significantly less liked when exposed to MRI acoustic noise.
Conclusion. We conclude that loud noises do not necessarily affect chemosensory perception.
Implications. MRI acoustic noise specifically does not seem to have a relevant effect on smell and taste.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
JournalChemosensory Perception
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Chemosensory perception
  • Food liking
  • Noise
  • Smell
  • Taste
  • fMRI


Dive into the research topics of 'Does MRI Acoustic Noise Affect Chemosensory Perception?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this