EMF Health-effects Research

Preattentive auditory information processing under exposure to the 902 MHz GSM mobile phone electromagnetic field: A mismatch negativity (MMN) study.

Kwon MS, Kujala T, Huotilainen M, Shestakova A, Näätänen R, Hämäläinen H

Bioelectromagnetics. Jan 12 2009

[Epub ahead of print]

Previous studies on the effects of the mobile phone electromagnetic field (EMF) on various event-related potential (ERP) components have yielded inconsistent and even contradictory results, and often failed in replication. The mismatch negativity (MMN) is an auditory ERP component elicited by infrequent (deviant) stimuli differing in some physical features from the repetitive frequent (standard) stimuli in a sound sequence. The MMN provides a sensitive measure for cortical auditory stimulus feature discrimination, regardless of attention and other contaminating factors.

In this study, MMN responses to duration, intensity, frequency, and gap changes were recorded in healthy young adults (n = 17), using a multifeature paradigm including several types of auditory change in the same stimulus sequence, while a GSM mobile phone was placed on either ear with the EMF (902 MHz pulsed at 217 Hz; SAR(1g) = 1.14 W/kg, SAR(10g) = 0.82 W/kg, peak value = 1.21 W/kg, measured with an SAM phantom) on or off. An MMN was elicited by all deviant types, while its amplitude and latency showed no significant differences due to EMF exposure for any deviant types.

In the present study, we found no conclusive evidence that acute exposure to GSM mobile phone EMF affects cortical auditory change detection processing reflected by the MMN.

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