No effects of mobile phone use on cortical auditory change-detection in children: an ERP study
We investigated the effect of mobile phone use on the auditory sensory memory in children. Auditory event-related potentials (ERPs), P1, N2, mismatch negativity (MMN), and P3a, were recorded from 17 children, aged 11–12 years, in the recently developed multi-feature paradigm. This paradigm allows one to determine the neural change-detection profile consisting of several different types of acoustic changes. During the recording, an ordinary GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) mobile phone emitting 902 MHz (pulsed at 217 Hz) electromagnetic field (EMF) was placed on the ear, over the left or right temporal area (SAR1g = 1.14 W/kg, SAR10g = 0.82 W/kg, peak value = 1.21 W/kg). The EMF was either on or off in a single-blind manner. We found that a short exposure (two 6 min blocks for each side) to mobile phone EMF has no statistically significant effects on the neural change-detection profile measured with the MMN. Furthermore, the multi-feature paradigm was shown to be well suited for studies of perception accuracy and sensory memory in children. However, it should be noted that the present study only had sufficient statistical power to detect a large effect size.