Wistar rats were exposed to a 916 MHz, 10 W/m(2) mobile phone electromagnetic field for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week. Average completion times in an eight-arm radial maze were longer in the exposed rats than control rats after 4-5 weeks of exposure. Error rates in the exposed rats were greater than the control rats at 6 weeks. Hippocampal neurons from the exposed rats showed irregular firing patterns during the experiment, and they exhibited decreased spiking activity 6-9 weeks compared with that after 2-5 weeks of exposure. These results indicate that 916 MHz electromagnetic fields influence learning and memory in rats during exposure, but long-term effects are not obvious.
Keywords: Wistar rats; electromagnetic field; feeding behavior; maze learning; neural regeneration; neurons.