Cognitive effects of cellular phones: a possible role of non-radiofrequency radiation factors

Bioelectromagnetics. 2011 Oct;32(7):585-8. doi: 10.1002/bem.20671. Epub 2011 Apr 12.


Some studies found that cognitive functions of human beings may be altered while exposed to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) emitted by cellular phones. In two recent studies, we have found that experiment duration and exposure side (i.e., phone's location--right or left) may have a major influence on the detection of such effects. In this brief follow-up experiment, 29 right-handed male subjects were divided into two groups. Each subject had two standard cellular phones attached to both sides of his head. The subjects performed a spatial working memory task that required either a left-hand or a right-hand response under one of the two exposure conditions: left side of the head or right side. Contrary to our previous studies, in this work external antennas located far away from the subjects were connected to the cellular phones. This setup prevents any emission of RFR from the internal antenna, thus drastically reducing RFR exposure. Despite that, the results remain similar to those obtained in our previous work. These results indicate that some of the effects previously attributed to RFR can be the result of some confounders.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cell Phone*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology*
  • Radiation, Nonionizing / adverse effects*
  • Reaction Time
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult