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The study is a follow-up of previous work (publication 8336) on the effects of head-only exposure of rats to GSM electromagnetic fields. There were two main objectives: to study GSM effects on spatial memory with more complex procedures, and to enlarge the investigation
repeated daily exposure for 45 min for 7, 9 or 12 days
loop antenna: printed circuit with 2 metallic lines printed on dielectric substrate
During exposure, rats were restrained in rockets made of 5-mm-thick Plexiglas and consisting of a cylinder (6 cm diameter, 15 cm length) and a truncated cone (3 cm length) in which the rat inserted its head. The loop antenna was placed against the cone directly above the rat's head. The four rockets for simultaneous exposure were separated from each other by a double layer of a 12 cm absorbing material to prevent interference from one antenna to another.
The performances of exposed rats were compared to those of sham-exposed and cage-control rats.
The SARs were determined experimentally using either a Vitek probe for the measurement of temperature rises or an electric field probe. FDTD calculations were done on homogeneous and non-homogeneous phantoms and the agreement among the three independent methods was very good (see second reference article).
In one of the spatial memory tasks (without delay), a slightly improved performance was found after 3.5 W/kg exposure, a result that was not observed in the other spatial memory task (with an intra-trial delay). In the non-spatial memory task (object recognition task), although some effects on exploratory activity were found, recognition memory was unaffected in exposed rats. Altogether, this set of experiments provides no evidence indicating that spatial and non-spatial memory can be affected by an exposure to 900 MHzGSM electromagnetic fields.