Alterations of human electroencephalographic activity caused by multiple extremely low frequency magnetic field exposures

Med Biol Eng Comput. 2009 Oct;47(10):1063-73. doi: 10.1007/s11517-009-0525-1. Epub 2009 Aug 26.


In the past, many studies have claimed that extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic field (MF) exposures could alter the human electroencephalographic (EEG) activity. This study aims at extending our ELF pilot study to investigate whether MF exposures at ELF in series from 50, 16.66, 13, 10, 8.33 to 4 Hz could alter relative power within the corresponding EEG bands. 33 human subjects were tested under a double-blind and counter-balanced conditions. The multiple repeated three-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) mixed design (within and between-subject) analysis was employed followed by post-hoc t-tests and Bonferroni alpha-correction. The results from this study have shown that narrow alpha1 (7.5-9.5 Hz) and alpha2 (9-11 Hz) bands, associated with 8.33 and 10 Hz MF exposures, were significantly (p < 0.0005) lower than control over the temporal and parietal regions within the 10-16 min of first MF exposure session and the MF exposures were significantly higher than control of the second session MF exposure (60-65 min from the commencement of testing). Also, it was found that the beta1 (12-14 Hz) band exhibited a significant increase from before to after 13-Hz first MF exposure session at frontal region. The final outcome of our result has shown that it is possible to alter the human EEG activity of alpha and beta bands when exposed to MF at frequencies corresponding to those same bands, depending on the order and period of MF conditions. This type of EEG synchronisation of driving alpha and beta EEG by alpha and beta sinusoidal MF stimulation, demonstrated in this study, could possibly be applied as therapeutic treatment(s) of particular neurophysiological abnormalities such as sleep and psychiatric disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alpha Rhythm / physiology
  • Beta Rhythm / physiology
  • Brain / physiology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Young Adult