Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

No influence of short-term exposure to 50-Hz magnetic fields on cognitive performance function in human med./bio.

Published in: Int Arch Occup Environ Health 2003; 76 (6): 437-442

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To examine whether 50 Hz magnetic fields acutely influence cognitive performance in humans.

Background/further details

20 subjects (12 male) were divided into two groups (group1: n=14, group 2: n=6) and participated in four sessions (two mornings, two afternoons), where they received randomized exposure or sham exposure.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: 55 min

General information

for further information on the setup see: Merritt R., Purcel C., Stroink G., 1983, "Uniform magnetic field produced by three, four, and five square coils." Rev Sci Instrum 54: 879-882

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
  • circular
Exposure duration 55 min
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup exposure room (cube with 2.7 m sides) surrounded by 4 square-looped coils
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 20 µT effective value - - -

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

None of the subjects detected the existence of the magnetic field. The exposure had no significant influence on the results of the tests.
In the present study human cognitive functions were unaffected by the magnetic field.
The results indicate that extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields in the occupational environment are unlikely to interfere with human brain function so much as to lower working efficiency or accuracy.

Study character:

Study funded by

Related articles