Low-level exposure to pulsed 900 MHz microwave radiation does not cause deficits in the performance of a spatial learning task in mice

Zenon J. Sienkiewicz, Roger P. Blackwell, Richard Haylock, Richard D. Saunders, Brenda L. Cobb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is some concern that short-term memory loss or other cognitive effects may be associated with the use of mobile cellular telephones. In this experiment, the effect of repeated, acute exposure to a low intensity 900 MHz radiofrequency (RF) field pulsed at 217 Hz was explored using an appetitively-motivated spatial learning and working memory task. Adult male C57BL/6J mice were exposed under far field conditions in a GTEM cell for 45 min each day for 10 days at an average whole-body specific energy absorption rate (SAR) of 0.05 W/kg. Their performance in an 8-arm radial maze was compared to that of sham-exposed control animals. All behavioral assessments were performed without handlers having knowledge of the exposure status of the animals. Animals were tested in the maze immediately following exposure or after a delay of 15 or 30 min. No significant field-dependent effects on performance were observed in choice accuracy or in total times to complete the task across the experiment. These results suggest that exposure to RF radiation simulating a digital wireless telephone (GSM) signal under the conditions of this experiment does not affect the acquisition of the learned response. Further studies are planned to explore the effects of other SARs on learned behavior. Bioelectromagnetics 21:151-158, 2000. Published 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-158
Number of pages8
JournalBioelectromagnetics
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2000

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