New research shows that the electromagnetic signals emanating from mobile phones can alter your brainwaves. Indeed, the latest studies suggest that mobile phone transmissions can even affect behavior. In one study, scientists from the Swinburne University of Technology monitored the brainwaves of folks with Nokia phones, er, strapped to their heads. They noticed that the cell phone transmissions boosted alpha waves. In a separate experiment, researchers from the Loughborough University Sleep Research Centre observed that sleep-deprived subjects with phones on their heads showed a dampening of delta waves that are markers of sleep. For hours after the phones were turned off, the test subjects exhibited difficulty falling asleep. From Scientific American:
Although this research shows that cell phone transmissions can affect a person's brainwaves with persistent effects on behavior, (Loughborough University's James) Horne does not feel there is any need for concern that cell phones are damaging. The arousal effects the researchers measured are equivalent to about half a cup of coffee, and many other factors in a person's surroundings will affect a night's sleep as much or more than cell phone transmissions.Link
"The significance of the research," he explained, is that although the cell phone power is low, "electromagnetic radiation can nevertheless have an effect on mental behavior when transmitting at the proper frequency." He finds this fact especially remarkable when considering that everyone is surrounded by electromagnetic clutter radiating from all kinds of electronic devices in our modern world. Cell phones in talk mode seem to be particularly well-tuned to frequencies that affect brainwave activity. "The results show sensitivity to low-level radiation to a subtle degree. These findings open the door by a crack for more research to follow. One only wonders if with different doses, durations, or other devices, would there be greater effects?"
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.