Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Effects of long-term electromagnetic field exposure on spatial learning and memory in rats med./bio.

Published in: Neurol Sci 2013; 34 (2): 157-164

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the effect of electromagnetic fields on spatial learning and memory in rats.

Background/further details

32 pre-trained rats were divided into an exposure group and a control group. Three rats from each group were implanted electrode arrays in their hippocampal CA1 regions, but neuron signals from only one exposed rat in 9 weeks and one control rat in 8 weeks were recorded because electrode arrays fell off or rats bit off cables.
Rats were exposed from Monday to Friday and tests were performed on Saturday.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 916 MHz
Exposure duration: continuous for 2 x 3 h/day (6 h/day), 5 days/week, 10 weeks

General information

Rats were divided into an exposure group and a control group.

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 916 MHz
Exposure duration continuous for 2 x 3 h/day (6 h/day), 5 days/week, 10 weeks
Exposure setup
Exposure source
  • monopole
Chamber antenna was close to the exposure cages 1-4
Setup rats were exposed in four Makrolon cages (47 cm x 31 cm x 26 cm)
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power density 10 W/m² - - - near the center of the four cages

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Investigated organ system:
Time of investigation:
  • before exposure
  • during exposure
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The data showed that during the weeks 4-5 of the experiment, the average completion time and error rate of the exposure group were longer and larger than that of the control group, i.e. compared with the control group, the exposed animals spent more time in the maze and made more mistakes during weeks 4-5.
The hippocampal neurons showed irregular firing patterns and more spikes with a shorter interspike interval for both the exposure and the control group during the whole experiment period.
The findings indicate that the 916 MHz electromagnetic field exposure influence learning and memory in rats to some extent at a specific exposure time point and that the rats can adapt to long-term electromagnetic field exposure.

Study character:

Study funded by

Related articles