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This study aimed to examine the effect of a mobile telephone electromagnetic field (MP- EMF) on human brain bioelectric activity at the T3 location and information processing speed. Human brain bioelectric activity was assessed by calculating power spectral density (PSD) values from electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings, and information processing speed was assessed by the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT). Eighty-four people (ages 18-25) participated in this study. Each subject had two consecutive 15 minute single-channel EEGs (baseline and treatment) taken with either a T3/T5 or T3/CZ monopolar montage configuration. The treatment EEGs consisted of either exposure to a MP-EMF or a placebo mobile telephone (MP) with no electromagnetic field. The MP or placebo MP was held by the test subjects and against their left ear for the duration of the 15 minute treatment EEG. The PASAT is subject to practice effect, so a Solomon four-group design was implemented. A three-way mixed analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to analyze the PSD values, and a meta-analytic approach was used to analyze the PASAT scores. Neither set of data, PSD measurements, or PASAT scores, produced statistically significant results. These results indicated that 15 minutes of exposure to a MP-EMF does not produce a statistically significant effect on human brain bioelectric activity at the T3 location. While the PASAT scores also indicated no effect on cognitive functions from MP-EMF exposure, many confounding factors, like the sensitivity and the time of the administration of the PASAT and duration of MP-EMF exposure, may have influenced the statistics. Further research controlling for these factors is suggested.


Angela L. Watson, PhD, research advisor

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Psychology Commons



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