Exposure to magnetic resonance imaging does not produce taste aversion in rats

Physiol Behav. 1987;40(2):259-61. doi: 10.1016/0031-9384(87)90217-4.


A taste aversion test was used to evaluate possible toxic effects of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Thirty male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to four groups: Group One (n = 10) received 30 minutes exposure inside the MRI scanner; Group Two (n = 10) received a sham exposure to the MRI scanner; Group Three (n = 5) was injected with 0.15 M lithium chloride; and Group Four (n = 5) was injected with vehicle. All groups were given 10 minutes access to a 0.1% saccharin solution immediately prior to their respective treatment. The rats treated with lithium chloride displayed a taste aversion to the saccharin solution upon subsequent testing over an eight day period. The two control groups (Two and Four) and the rats exposed to MRI did not display any aversion to the saccharin solution. These results are compared to other studies that have shown that magnetic fields can influence biological systems.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Taste / physiology*