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A meta-analysis for neurobehavioral effects due to electromagnetic field exposure emitted by GSM mobile phones
  1. Alfred Barth (barth{at}
  1. Institute of Management Science, Austria
    1. Robert Winker (robert.winker{at}
    1. Medical University of Vienna, Austria
      1. Elisabeth Ponocny-Seliger
      1. Empirical Research & Statistical Consulting, Austria
        1. Walter Mayrhofer
        1. Fraunhofer Project Group for Production- and Logistics Management in Vienna, Austria
          1. Ivo Ponocny
          1. Empirical Research & Statistical Consulting, Austria
            1. Cornelia Sauter
            1. Department of Neurology, Austria
              1. Norbert Vana
              1. Atomic Institute of the Austrian Universities, Austria


                Background and Objective: Numerous studies have investigated the potential effects of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) emitted by GSM mobile phones (~900 MHz to ~1800 MHz) on cognitive functioning, but results have been equivocal. In order to try and clarify this issue, the current study carried out a meta-analysis on nineteen experimental studies. Design: meta-analysis Methods: Nineteen studies were taken into consideration. Ten of them were included in the meta-analysis as they fulfil several minimum requirements; for example, single-blind or double-blind experimental study design and documentation of means and standard deviation of the dependent variables. The meta-analysis aimed at comparing exposed with non-exposed subjects assuming that there is a common population effect so that one single effect size could be calculated. When homogeneity for single effect sizes was not given, an own population effect for each study and a distribution of population effects was assumed. Results: Attention measured by the subtraction task seems to be affected in regard of decreased reaction time. Working memory measured by the N-back test seems to by affected too: Under condition 0-back target response time is lower under exposure, while under condition 2-back target response time increases. The number of errors under condition 2-back non-targets appears to be higher under exposure. Conclusion: Results of the meta-analysis suggest that EMFs may have a small impact on human attention and working memory.

                • cellular phones
                • cognition
                • emf
                • mobile phones

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