Medical/biological Study (experimental study)
Short-term exposure to mobile phone base station signals does not affect cognitive functioning or physiological measures in individuals who report sensitivity to electromagnetic fields and controls. med./biol. By: Eltiti S, Wallace D, Ridgewell A, Zougkou K, Russo R, Sepulveda F, Fox E
Published in: Bioelectromagnetics 2009; 30 (7): 556 - 563 ( PubMed Entry , Journal web site )
Aim of study (according to author)
To investigate whether short-term exposure to GSM and UMTS base station signals affects attention, memory and physiological components in 44 electrosensitive and 44 control participants.
The participants performed four testing sessions (at least one week apart from each other): a) baseline measurement before exposure, b) exposure to GSM, c) exposure to UMTS and d) sham exposure.
Cognitive functioning was measured using a digit symbol substitution test (given a table displaying the correspondence between pairs of digits [from 1 to 9] and symbols, subjects have to fill in blank squares with the symbol that is paired with the digit displayed above the square; subjects have to fill in as many squares as possible in 90 sec), a digit span test and mental arithmetic tasks (5 sec to complete addition and subtraction equations; 187 trials).
General category: mobile communication system, cell phone base station, GSM, UMTS
|field 1: 900 - 1800 MHz |
exposure duration: continuous for 50 min
|power flux density: 10 mW/m² |
|field 2: 2020 MHz |
exposure duration: continuous for 50 min
|power flux density: 10 mW/m² |
FIELD View further expo parameters
whole body exposure
investigation on living organism
- effects on cardiovascular system:
blood volume pulse, heart rate
- cognitive/behavioral endpoints:
cognitive functioning: short-term memory (digit span test: percentage of correct scores); attention and perceptual motor speed (digit symbol substitution test: number of symbols correctly completed); working memory (mental arithmetic task: percentage of correct scores)
- hypersensitivity/subjective complaints:
subjective well-being (VAS) and symptoms under exposure; judgement whether fields were "on" or "off"
- others: skin conductance
investigated organ systems: cardiovascular system, autonomic nervous system, brain/CNS
time of investigation: before, during and after exposure
Main outcome of study (according to author)
Both groups did not differ significantly in their cognitive performance on the baseline measurements.
Cognitive functioning was not affected by short-term exposure to either GSM or UMTS signals in control participants and electrosensitive participants.
Electrosensitive participants had a significantly higher level of skin conductance than control participants while performing the cognitive tasks (independent of exposure condition). Blood volume pulse and heart rate did not differ between the two groups nor were they affected by the type of exposure.
(Study character: medical/biological study, experimental study, full/main study, double-blind study, provocation study)
Study funded by
- Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR), UK
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Glossary: attention, autonomic nervous system, base station, behavioral, biological, blood, brain, cardiovascular system, cell phone, CNS, cognitive, conductance, digit span test, double-blind study, electrosensitive, endpoint, exposure, full/main study, GSM, heart rate, human, hypersensitivity, memory, mental, mobile communication, motor, organism, physiological, power flux density, provocation study, pulse, Sessions, sham exposure, short-term memory, signals, significantly, skin, subjective complaints, subjects, symptoms, UMTS, vas, whole body exposure, working memory
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