Microwaves emitted by cellular telephones affect human slow brain potentials

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2000 Jan;81(1-2):18-27. doi: 10.1007/PL00013791.


The influence of electromagnetic fields (EMF) emitted by cellular telephones on preparatory slow brain potentials (SP) was studied in two experiments, about 6 months apart. In the first experiment, a significant decrease of SP was found during exposure to EMF in a complex visual monitoring task (VMT). This effect was replicated in the second experiment. In addition to the VMT, EMF effects on SP were analysed in two further, less demanding tasks: in a simple finger movement task to elicit a Bereitschaftspotential (BP) and in a two-stimulus task to elicit a contingent negative variation (CNV). In comparison to the VMT, no significant main EMF effects were found in BP and CNV tasks. The results accounted for a selective EMF effect on particular aspects of human information processing, but did not indicate any influence on human performance, well-being and health.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain / radiation effects*
  • Contingent Negative Variation / radiation effects
  • Evoked Potentials / radiation effects
  • Evoked Potentials, Motor / radiation effects
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual / radiation effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microwaves*
  • Pursuit, Smooth / physiology
  • Reaction Time / radiation effects
  • Telephone*