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Title: Effects of pulse-modulated microwave radiation from mobile phones on the sleep/waking EEG and psychomotor vigilance
Author: Hung, Ching-Sui
ISNI:       0000 0001 3584 4228
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2008
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This study employed multiple assessments, including sleep/resting waking EEG (visual scoring and power spectral analysis) and psychomotor vigilance task, to access effects of varying pulse-modulated microwaves (such as: 'talk', 'listen' and 'standby' mode signals) emitted from a standard mobile phone. The idea was prompted by a finding that the pulse modulation frequencies of mobile phone signals correspond to the frequencies of brain delta and alpha waves. Thereby it is possible the brain is able to recognize and respond to the low-frequency components of the mobile phone signals. Supporting evidence comes from repetitively reported EEG alpha and spindle effects of the 2, 8 and 217-Hz pulsed microwave exposure. Furthermore, brain imaging (EEG and PET) studies reveal 'low-frequency pulse-modulated waves' rather than the 'microwave frequency carrier waves' is the sine qua non for inducing these brain physiological effects [Huber et al., 2002, 2005; Regel et al., 2007a]. On the other hand, recent converging evidence, from molecular, behavioural and electrophysiological level, have shown that brain plasticity is a continuous process from waking to sleep and, sleep, a well-defined physiological condition, is 'shaped' by the waking experiences. The latter findings suggest certain sleep EEG features may characterize levels of cortical plasticity during wakefulness. The work presented in this thesis was inspired by these studies and aimed to understand how the real mobile phone signals with different low-frequency pulsing components [such as 'talk' (8, 217 Hz pulsed), 'listen' (2, 8, 217 Hz pulsed) and 'stand by' mode < 2 Hz pulsed)] change human brain electrical activities from waking to sleep. We approached this question based on EEG analysis in two domains: (1) EEG visual scoring; (2) EEG spectral analysis from relaxed waking to the deeper stages of non-NREM sleep. We also looked at the effects on the psychomotor vigilance performance. Results suggest 'talk' and 'Iisten/standby' modes have inverse effects on the distinctive thalamo-cortical oscillation modes and may thus impart inverse effects on their sleep structures. The implications of this study are of practical importance as it suggests the thalamo-cortical oscillations can be modulated by synchronizing rTMS/tDCS/DBS and sleeplwaking EEG. This concept may be applied to modulate the brain oscillation modes for enhancing sleep-dependent brain plastiCity or information processing.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sleep ; Electroencphalography (EEG) ; Alpha activity ; Sleep spindles ; Psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) ; Electromagnetic field (EMF) ; Mobile phone ; Extremely low frequency (ELF) ; Pulse modulation