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Author Notes:

Correspondence: Kevin D. Tessner, ktessne@emory.edu


Research Funding:

None declared


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Saliva

Cortisol responses of healthy volunteers undergoing magnetic resonance imaging


Journal Title:

Human Brain Mapping


Volume 27, Number 11


, Pages 889-895

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Self-reported anxiety is associated with various medical procedures, including structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The present study tested the hypothesis that MRI scanning would be associated with elevated cortisol levels in participants with no prior scanning experience. Baseline and post-scan cortisol levels, as well as measures of state and trait anxiety, were obtained from scanner-naive (n = 6) and scanner-experienced (n = 8) research participants. The anxiety scores and cortisol responses of the scanner-naive and scanner-experienced participants were compared. Subjects novel to MRI were no more anxious before the scan than were subjects familiar with the MRI examination, but the scanner-naive subjects manifested heightened post-scan cortisol secretion when compared to their pre-scan level and when compared to the scanner-experienced participants. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that the scanning environment can induce cortisol elevations and are congruent with the well-established effects of acute stressors on activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The implications for neuroimaging studies are discussed.

Copyright information:

© 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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