Journal article

Regional brain responses associated with using imagination to evoke and satiate thirst

Pascal Saker, Steve Carey, Marcus Grohmann, Michael J Farrell, Philip J Ryan, Gary F Egan, Michael J McKinley, Derek A Denton

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences | NATL ACAD SCIENCES | Published : 2020


In response to dehydration, humans experience thirst. This subjective state is fundamental to survival as it motivates drinking, which subsequently corrects the fluid deficit. To elicit thirst, previous studies have manipulated blood chemistry to produce a physiological thirst stimulus. In the present study, we investigated whether a physiological stimulus is indeed required for thirst to be experienced. Functional MRI (fMRI) was used to scan fully hydrated participants while they imagined a state of intense thirst and while they imagined drinking to satiate thirst. Subjective ratings of thirst were significantly higher for imagining thirst compared with imagining drinking or baseline, revea..

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Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the G. Harold and Leila Y. Mathers Charitable Foundation, Search Foundation, S. Baillieu Myer, Diana Gibson, Robert Albert, Dr. Mark Nelson, Tim Jones, Jeanne Pratt, Pratt Foundation, Helenita Kleberg Groves, and National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.