Cellphone exposure linked to changes in brain activity
Handset radiation can alter brain function
US researchers have shown that less than an hour of cellphone use can significantly speed up activity in the part of the brain closest to the handset antenna, a finding that could reignite the debate over the health effects of radiation emitted by the ubiquitous devices.
In a study published on Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, and reported by The New York Times, researchers from the National Institutes of Health found that just 50 minutes of cellphone use was accompanied by a seven-per-cent increase in activity in the part of the brain closest to the antenna.
Researchers said the increase was unlikely to be associated with heat from the handset because the activity occurred near the antenna, rather than where the phone touched the head. The scientists also discounted the likelihood of auditory stimulation from the phone. Each of the 47 study participants were subjected to two separate exposures, one with the cellphones turned off and the other with the muted phone receiving a call from a recorded message.
As the subjects touched the phones to their ears, they underwent PET, or positron emission tomography, scans, which measure brain glucose metabolism, a marker of brain activity.
“The study is important because it documents that the human brain is sensitive to the electromagnetic radiation that is emitted by cellphones,” Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, told the NYT. “It also highlights the importance of doing studies to address the question of whether there are – or are not – long-lasting consequences of repeated stimulation, of getting exposed over five, 10 or 15 years.”
The study is among the first and biggest to document that the weak radio frequency signals from handsets have the potential to change brain function. ®
Re:im sorry, a what?
A PET scan ... you know, when someone comes and looks maliciously at your cat....
"Handset radiation can alter brain function"
Yeah, it turns normal rational people into complete freaking twats when they get out of the underground stations, standing in the flipping way, checking their voicemails and texts oblivious to everyone else trying to catch the mainline home!
Let's not start with the dipsticks who, for no reason on God's green earth, just stop dead in the street when their mobile beeps, just to check their messages!
( Terminator icon for good reason! )
Very, VERY unlikely. The bits of your brain involved in depression aren quite simply not the bits of your brain near the cell phone antenna. The study didn't exactly clock much "deep penetration" on increased activity. In fact, the one conclusion I can draw from the whole thing is that if I built a neat cranial net that bombarded my entire head with similar frequencies, I might well be able to "overclock" the outer layers of my brain. This is highly useful: the outer layers of my brain are generally the ones that do the majority of my conscious processing.
There is a serious chance that we are one or two studies away from “cell phones make you smarter.” Just based on some basic brain physiology, (and some napkin physics calculations,) I am seriously doubting that “cell phones make you more emotive and/or irrational” is even possible.
I am off to create a radio emitter for my temporal lobes…
ITT: Much inserting of heads in the sand.
I love it when science geeks ignore science because they don't like the results.
It would be a surprise if close proximity to EMR didn't affect brain function.
You want to use the things a lot, you go right ahead. They might even make you more intelligent, although judging by the some of the chavs you see with their phones permanently attached to their ears, I doubt it.
Fears attract the scam artists?
While phone manufacturers might be reluctant to follow up on product safety issues, there is also no shortage of fear-mongers on the other side. That website you link to recommends two products to cover the phone earpiece - one appears to be an overpriced scrap of wire mesh (wouldn't it need to be grounded to act as an effective barrier?) and the other features a "crystalline core" and a "copper induction coil". A fool and his money are soon parted. I guess those old transmitters had a higher power output.