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Cognitive and physiological responses in humans exposed to a TETRA base station signal in relation to perceived electromagnetic hypersensitivity

Wallace, Denise and Eltiti, Stacy and Ridgewell, Anna and Garner, Kelly and Russo, Riccardo and Sepulveda, Francisco and Walker, Stuart and Quinlan, Terence and Dudley, Sandra and Maung, Sithu and others, (2011) 'Cognitive and physiological responses in humans exposed to a TETRA base station signal in relation to perceived electromagnetic hypersensitivity.' Bioelectromagnetics, 33 (1). pp. 23-39. ISSN 0197-8462

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Abstract

Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) technology ("Airwave") has led to public concern because of its potential interference with electrical activity in the brain. The present study is the first to examine whether acute exposure to a TETRA base station signal has an impact on cognitive functioning and physiological responses. Participants were exposed to a 420MHz TETRA signal at a power flux density of 10mW/m2 as well as sham (no signal) under double-blind conditions. Fifty-one people who reported a perceived sensitivity to electromagnetic fields as well as 132 controls participated in a double-blind provocation study. Forty-eight sensitive and 132 control participants completed all three sessions. Measures of short-term memory, working memory, and attention were administered while physiological responses (blood volume pulse, heart rate, skin conductance) were monitored. After applying exclusion criteria based on task performance for each aforementioned cognitive measure, data were analyzed for 36, 43, and 48 sensitive participants for these respective tasks and, likewise, 107,125, and 129 controls. We observed no differences in cognitive performance between sham and TETRA exposure in either group; physiological response also did not differ between the exposure conditions. These findings are similar to previous double-blind studies with other mobile phone signals (900-2100MHz), which could not establish any clear evidence that mobile phone signals affect health or cognitive function. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: electrosensitivity; provocation study; electromagnetic hypersensitivity; idiopathic environmental intolerance
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Faculty of Science and Health > Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2012 15:42
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 11:04
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/2796

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