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Effects of electromagnetic field emitted by cellular phones on the EEG during a memory task

Krause, Christina M.1,2,3,7; Sillanmäki, Lauri1,4; Koivisto, Mika1,2; Häggqvist, Anna1,3; Saarela, Carina1,3; Revonsuo, Antti1,5; Laine, Matti1,2,6; Hämäläinen, Heikki1,2

Cognitive Neuroscience

The effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) emitted by cellular phones on the ERD/ERS of the 4–6 Hz, 6–8 Hz, 8–10 Hz and 10–12 Hz EEG frequency bands were studied in 16 normal subjects performing an auditory memory task. All subjects performed the memory task both with and without exposure to a digital 902 MHz EMF in counterbalanced order. The exposure to EMF significantly increased EEG power in the 8–10 Hz frequency band only. Nonetheless, the presence of EMF altered the ERD/ERS responses in all studied frequency bands as a function of time and memory task (encoding vs retrieval). Our results suggest that the exposure to EMF does not alter the resting EEG per se but modifies the brain responses significantly during a memory task.

1Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, 20014 University of Turku, Finland

2Department of Psychology, 20014 University of Turku, Finland

3Department of Psychology, Åbo Akademi University, 20500 Turku, Finland

4Department of Statistics, 20014 University of Turku, Finland

5Department of Philosophy, 20014 University of Turku, Finland

6Department of Neurology, 20014 University of Turku, Finland.

7Corresponding Author and Address: Christina M. Krause, Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience and Departments of 20014 University of Turku

Acknowledgements: This study was supported financially by the University of Turku and Nokia. A.R. (projects 36106 and 45704) and C.M.K. (projects 7338 and 42536) were supported by the Academy of Finland.

Received 30 November 1999; accepted 7 January 2000

© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.