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Clin Neurophysiol. 2011 Nov;122(11):2203-16. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2011.04.006. Epub 2011 May 12.

Effects of 2G and 3G mobile phones on performance and electrophysiology in adolescents, young adults and older adults.

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1
Brain Sciences Institute, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study examined sensory and cognitive processing in adolescents, young adults and older adults, when exposed to 2nd (2G) and 3rd (3G) generation mobile phone signals.

METHODS:

Tests employed were the auditory 3-stimulus oddball and the N-back. Forty-one 13-15 year olds, forty-two 19-40 year olds and twenty 55-70 year olds were tested using a double-blind cross-over design, where each participant received Sham, 2G and 3G exposures, separated by at least 4 days.

RESULTS:

3-Stimulus oddball task: Behavioural: accuracy and reaction time of responses to targets were not affected by exposure. Electrophysiological: augmented N1 was found in the 2G condition (independent of age group). N-back task: Behavioural: the combined groups performed less accurately during the 3G exposure (compared to Sham), with post hoc tests finding this effect separately in the adolescents only. Electrophysiological: delayed ERD/ERS responses of the alpha power were found in both 3G and 2G conditions (compared to Sham; independent of age group).

CONCLUSION:

Employing tasks tailored to each individual's ability level, this study provides support for an effect of acute 2G and 3G exposure on human cognitive function.

SIGNIFICANCE:

The subtlety of mobile phone effect on cognition in our study suggests that it is important to account for individual differences in future mobile phone research.

PMID:
21570341
DOI:
10.1016/j.clinph.2011.04.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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