Exposure to ELF magnetic and ELF-modulated radiofrequency fields: the time course of physiological and cognitive effects observed in recent studies (2001-2005)

Bioelectromagnetics. 2006 Dec;27(8):613-27. doi: 10.1002/bem.20247.


In 2002, we published a review of the cognitive and physiological effects of extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF MFs) and ELF-modulated radiofrequency fields associated with mobile phones. Since the original preparation of that review, a significant number of studies have been published using techniques such as electroencephalography, event-related potentials and positron emission tomography to investigate electromagnetic field effects upon human physiology and various measures of performance (cognitive, perceptual, behavioral). We review these recent studies, and when effects were observed, we reference the time course of observed effects (immediate or delayed). In our concluding remarks, we discuss a number of variables that are not often considered in human bioelectromagnetics studies, such as personality, individual differences and the specific laterality of ELF MF and mobile phone exposure over the brain. We also consider the sensitivity of various physiological assays and performance measures in the study of biological effects of electromagnetic fields.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Phone
  • Electroencephalography / radiation effects*
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Evoked Potentials / radiation effects*
  • Humans
  • Memory Disorders / etiology
  • Radio Waves / adverse effects*
  • Time Factors