Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Acute exposure to pulsed 2450 MHz microwaves affects water-maze performance of rats. med./bio.

Published in: Bioelectromagnetics 2000; 21 (1): 52-56

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The effect of acute microwave exposure on spatial learning and memory functions was studied via the Morris water maze, in which rats learn to locate a submerged platform in a circular pool of opaque water by using cues in the environment.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 2.45 GHz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: continuous for 1 h
  • power density: 20 W/m² spatial average
  • SAR: 1.2 W/kg average over mass (whole body)

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 2.45 GHz
  • circular
Exposure duration continuous for 1 h
Additional info TE11 mode.
Modulation type pulsed
Pulse width 2 µs
Additional info

500 pulses/second

Exposure setup
Exposure source
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power density 20 W/m² spatial average - - -
SAR 1.2 W/kg average over mass - whole body -

Reference articles

  • Guy AW et al. (1979): Circularly polarized 2450 MHz waveguide system for chronic exposure of small animals to microwaves.

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Microwave-irradiated animals were slower than sham-exposed and cage control animals in learning to locate the platform. However, there was no significant difference in swim speed among the three groups of rats, indicating that the difference in learning was not due to a change in motor functions or motivation. During the probe trial, microwave-irradiated rats spent significantly less time in the quadrant that had contained the platform, and their swim patterns were different from those of the sham-exposed and cage control rats. The latter observation indicates that microwave-exposed animals used a different strategy in learning the location of the platform. These data show that acute exposure to pulsed microwaves caused a deficit in spatial "reference" memory.

Study character:

Study funded by

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