two solenoids (diameter: 42 cm) placed on a common axis spaced apart at a distance equal to their radii (21 cm); coils produced a vertical and homogenous field in the space between the coils; the coils were constructed of glaze-insulated copper wire (d = 1.4 mm) and had 240 turns; participants had to put their right hand between the coils; exposure of other body parts was prevented by an iron plate (dimensions: 800 mm x 500 mm x 2 mm) positioned between the coils and participants' body and by covering the coils with a special fabric containing copper fiber
Individuals with IEI-EMF were able to detect the presence of the 50 Hzmagnetic field of 0.5 mT to a small extent while control groups' performance did not differ from chance. Experimental sessions followed by correct decisions were characterized by higher heart rate variability than periods followed by errors. Participants with IEI-EMF had a significantly lower decision criterion when they had to decide about the presence of the magnetic field. This means that they not only had slightly better detection abilities than controls, but they were also more prone to maximize the hit rate at the expense of false alarms in ambiguous cases. Additionally, participants with IEI-EMF exhibited more symptoms at the end of the experiment. IEI-EMF was closely related to concerns about possible harmful effects of electromagneticexposure and to somatosensory amplification. In conclusion, the detection of the magnetic field might be possible for people with IEI-EMF to some extent. Although increased sensibility to magnetic fields may play a role in the development of the IEI-EMF phenomenon, symptoms attributed to the magnetic field seem to be mainly of psychogenic origin.
Study funded by
Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA), Hungary
Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS), Hungary
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