The Impact of Acoustic fMRI-Noise on Olfactory Sensitivity and Perception

Alexander Wieck Fjaeldstad*, Hans Jacob Nørgaard, Henrique Miguel Fernandes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Sensory perception is neither static nor simple. The senses influence each other during multisensory stimulation and can be both suppressive and super-additive. As most knowledge of human olfactory perception is derived from functional neuroimaging studies, in particular fMRI, our current understanding of olfactory perception has systematically been investigated in an environment with concurrent loud sounds. To date, the confounding effects of acoustic fMRI-noise during scanning on olfactory perception have not yet been investigated. In this study we investigate how acoustic noise derived from the rapid switching of MR gradient coils, affects olfactory perception. For this, 50 subjects were tested in both a silent setting and an fMRI-noise setting, in a randomised order. We found that fMRI-related acoustic noise had a significant negative effect on the olfactory detection threshold score. No significant effects were identified on olfactory discrimination, identification, identification certainty, hedonic rating, or intensity rating.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-267
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • fMRI
  • multisensory perception
  • olfaction
  • sound


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