THE EFFECTS OF MOBILE PHONE ELECTRO-MAGNETIC FIELD ON FUNCTIONAL CONNECTIVITY OF THE BRAIN

I.A. MEMON, I. A. ISMAILI, M. S. KALHORO

Abstract


The  change  in  functional  connectivity  between  different  regions of the brain can affect the performance  of various  cognitive  processes. Because of this, subjects having  neurological  disorders  have shown a significant change in the functional connectivity as compared to control subjects. Therefore the study of functional connectivity have become an important tool for the diagnosis and research of various  neurological  disorders. EEG-based  coherence  function  is one of useful signal processing for examining the functional connectivity between various regions of the brain. The major aim of this study is to investigate  the  effects  of  electromagnetic  fields (EMF) emitted  by  cellular phones  on  functional  connectivity  existing  between  various  regions  of  the brain. The functional connectivity was assessed by comparing the magnitude square coherencies (MSCs) of both groups of subjects who were performing visual attention experiment with and without the exposure to a digital 902 MHz field. The subjects were instructed to detect change in the two-picture stimulus presented before them through the computer screen. For the group of subjects with the exposure to EMF, the significant difference in MSC function between change detection and no-change detection trials was examined using the two-way ANOVA statistical test. However for group of subjects without the exposure of EMF, the two-way ANOVA did not reveal the significance level of difference between change detection and no-change detection trials. The considerable loss in the significance level of MSC difference between change detection and no-change detection trial for the group of subjects with the exposure to EMF indicates that EMF may affect the functional connectivity of the brain.


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