Does acute exposure to mobile phones affect human attention?

Riccardo Russo, Elaine Fox, Caterina Cinel, Angela Boldini, Margaret Anne Defeyter, Dariush Mirshekar-Syakhal, Amit Metha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies have indicated that acute exposure to low level radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields generated by mobile phones affects human cognition. However, the relatively small samples used, in addition to methodological problems, make the outcomes of these studies difficult to interpret. In our study we tested a large sample of volunteers (168) using a series of cognitive tasks apparently sensitive to RF exposure (a simple reaction task, a vigilance task, and a subtraction task). Participants performed those tasks twice, in two different sessions. In one session they were exposed to RFs, with half of subjects exposed to GSM signals and the other half exposed to CW signals, while in the other session they were exposed to sham signals. No significant effects of RF exposure on performance for either GSM or CW were found, independent of whether the phone was positioned on the left or on the right side.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-220
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006


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