EMF Health-effects Research

Acute mobile phone effects on pre-attentive operation.

Papageorgiou CC, Nanou ED, Tsiafakis VG, Kapareliotis E, Kontoangelos KA, Capsalis CN, Rabavilas AD, Soldatos CR.

Neurosci Lett. Jan 4; 2006

[Epub ahead of print]

There is a debate whether electromagnetic field (EMF) emitted by mobile phones (MP) have an effect on cognitive functions. Since the auditory P50 component of event-related potentials (ERPs) reflects pre-attentive processing and working memory (WM) operation, the present study was designed to investigate whether the exposure to MP-EMF affects the patterns of the P50 component of ERPs elicited during a WM test.

The P50 elicited during a WM task and evoked by two warning stimuli low and high frequency (500 and 3000Hz) has been assessed in 19 normal subjects (10 women and 9 men) both without and with exposure to a 900MHz signal, emitted by a dipole antenna placed near the subjects.

Results showed that the presence of MP-EMFs induced statistically significant increase in the amplitude of P50 evoked by the low frequency stimuli, at Fp1 and O1 electrode leads as compared to themselves without MP-EMF exposure. In contrast the exposure to MP-EMFs revealed statistically significant decrease of the amplitude of P50 evoked by the high frequency stimuli, at Fp1 electrode lead as compared to themselves without MP-EMF exposure.

These findings provide evidence that the MP-EMF emitted by mobile phone affect pre-attentive information processing as it is reflected in P50 evoked potential. The basis of such an effect is unclear, although several possibilities exist and call for potential directions of future research.

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