Spatial learning deficit in the rat after exposure to a 60 Hz magnetic field

Bioelectromagnetics. 1996;17(6):494-6. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1521-186X(1996)17:6<494::AID-BEM9>3.0.CO;2-Z.


Rats were trained in ten daily sessions to perform in a 12-arm radial maze, which is a behavioral test for spatial memory functions. Exposure to a 60 Hz magnetic field (45 min, 0.75 mT) immediately before each training session retarded learning significantly. Pretreatment with the cholinergic agonist physostigmine before magnetic field exposure reversed the field's effect on spatial learning. Data from this experiment indicate that magnetic field-induced spatial learning deficit is caused by the effect of the field on cholinergic systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Cholinergic Agonists / pharmacology
  • Cholinergic Fibers / drug effects
  • Cholinergic Fibers / physiology
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Learning Disabilities / etiology*
  • Magnetics / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Maze Learning* / drug effects
  • Maze Learning* / physiology
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Memory / physiology
  • Physostigmine / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Cholinergic Agonists
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Physostigmine