Spatial memory performance of Wistar rats exposed to mobile phone

Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2009;64(3):231-4. doi: 10.1590/s1807-59322009000300014.


Introduction: With the tremendous increase in number of mobile phone users world wide, the possible risks of this technology have become a serious concern.

Objective: We tested the effects of mobile phone exposure on spatial memory performance.

Materials and methods: Male Wistar rats (10-12 weeks old) were exposed to 50 missed calls/day for 4 weeks from a GSM (900/1800 MHz) mobile phone in vibratory mode (no ring tone). After the experimental period, the animals were tested for spatial memory performance using the Morris water maze test.

Results: Both phone exposed and control animals showed a significant decrease in escape time with training. Phone exposed animals had significantly (approximately 3 times) higher mean latency to reach the target quadrant and spent significantly (approximately 2 times) less time in the target quadrant than age- and sex-matched controls.

Conclusion: Mobile phone exposure affected the acquisition of learned responses in Wistar rats. This in turn points to the poor spatial navigation and the object place configurations of the phone-exposed animals.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Phone*
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / radiation effects*
  • Memory / physiology
  • Memory / radiation effects*
  • Microwaves / adverse effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reaction Time
  • Spatial Behavior / physiology
  • Spatial Behavior / radiation effects*