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Bioelectromagnetics. 2013 Jan;34(1):31-42. doi: 10.1002/bem.21740. Epub 2012 Jun 4.

No effects of a single 3G UMTS mobile phone exposure on spontaneous EEG activity, ERP correlates, and automatic deviance detection.

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Department of Experimental Neurobiology and Zoology, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary.


Potential effects of a 30 min exposure to third generation (3G) Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) mobile phone-like electromagnetic fields (EMFs) were investigated on human brain electrical activity in two experiments. In the first experiment, spontaneous electroencephalography (sEEG) was analyzed (n = 17); in the second experiment, auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) and automatic deviance detection processes reflected by mismatch negativity (MMN) were investigated in a passive oddball paradigm (n = 26). Both sEEG and ERP experiments followed a double-blind protocol where subjects were exposed to either genuine or sham irradiation in two separate sessions. In both experiments, electroencephalograms (EEG) were recorded at midline electrode sites before and after exposure while subjects were watching a silent documentary. Spectral power of sEEG data was analyzed in the delta, theta, alpha, and beta frequency bands. In the ERP experiment, subjects were presented with a random series of standard (90%) and frequency-deviant (10%) tones in a passive binaural oddball paradigm. The amplitude and latency of the P50, N100, P200, MMN, and P3a components were analyzed. We found no measurable effects of a 30 min 3G mobile phone irradiation on the EEG spectral power in any frequency band studied. Also, we found no significant effects of EMF irradiation on the amplitude and latency of any of the ERP components. In summary, the present results do not support the notion that a 30 min unilateral 3G EMF exposure interferes with human sEEG activity, auditory evoked potentials or automatic deviance detection indexed by MMN.

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