EMF Health-effects Research

Does head-only exposure to GSM-900 electromagnetic fields affect the performance of rats in spatial learning tasks?

Dubreuil D, Jay T, Edeline JM.

Behav Brain Res 129(1-2):203-210, 2002

The rapid expansion of mobile communication has generated intense interest,but has also fuelled ongoing concerns. In both humans and animals, radiofrequency radiations are suspected to affect cognitive functions.

More specifically, several studies performed in rodents have suggested that spatial learning can be impaired by electromagnetic field exposure. However, none of these previous studies have simulated the common conditions of GSM mobile phones use. This study is the first using a head-only exposure system emitting a 900-MHz GSM electromagnetic field (pulsed at 217 Hz).

The two mbehavioural tasks that were evaluated here have been used previously to demonstrate performance deficits in spatial learning after electromagnetic field exposure: a classical radial maze elimination task and a spatial navigation task in an open-field arena (dry-land version of the Morris water maze). The performances of rats exposed for 45 min to a 900-MHz electromagnetic field (1 and 3.5 W/kg) were compared to those of sham-exposed and cage-control rats.

There were no differences among exposed, sham, and cage-control rats in the two spatial learning tasks. The discussion focuses on the potential reasons that led previous studies to conclude that learning deficits do occur after electromagnetic field exposure.

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