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. 2012 May;112(5):1751-62.
doi: 10.1007/s00421-011-2130-x. Epub 2011 Sep 6.

Neurophysiological and Behavioral Effects of a 60 Hz, 1,800 μT Magnetic Field in Humans


Neurophysiological and Behavioral Effects of a 60 Hz, 1,800 μT Magnetic Field in Humans

A Legros et al. Eur J Appl Physiol. .


The effects of time-varying magnetic fields (MF) on humans have been actively investigated for the past three decades. One important unanswered question is the potential for MF exposure to have acute effects on human biology. Different strategies have been used to tackle this question using various physiological, neurophysiological and behavioral indicators. For example, researchers investigating electroencephalography (EEG) have reported that extremely low frequency (ELF, <300 Hz) MF can increase resting occipital alpha rhythm (8-12 Hz). Interestingly, other studies have demonstrated that human motricity can be modulated by ELF MF: a reduction of anteroposterior standing balance or a decrease of physiological tremor intensity have been reported as consequences of exposure. However, the main limitation in this domain lies in the lack of results replication, possibly originating from the large variety of experimental approaches employed. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the effects of a 60 Hz, 1,800 μT MF exposure on neurophysiological (EEG) and neuromotor (standing balance, voluntary motor function, and physiological tremor) aspects in humans using a single experimental procedure. Though results from this study suggest a reduction of human standing balance with MF exposure, as well as an increase of physiological tremor amplitude within the frequency range associated with central nervous system contribution, no exposure effect appeared on other investigated parameters (e.g., EEG or voluntary motor control). These results suggest that 1 h of 60 Hz, 1,800 μT MF exposure may modulate human involuntary motor control without being detected in the cortical electrical activity.

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