Brain Research, 964(2), 317–326p. (2003) DOI:10.1016/S0006-8993(02)04093-3

Consistent magnetic-field induced dynamical changes in rabbit brain activity detected by recurrence quantification analysis

A. A. Marino, E. Nilsen, C. Frilot

The reports dealing with the effects of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) on brain electrical activity have been inconsistent. We suspected that the use of linear methods and models accounted for some of the variability, and we explored the issue by using a novel approach to study the effects of EMFs on the electroencephalogram (EEG) from rabbits. The EEG was embedded in phase space and local recurrence plots were calculated and quantified to permit comparisons between exposed and control epochs from individual animals. Statistically significant alterations in brain activity were observed in each animal (n=10) when it was exposed to 2.5 G, 60 Hz, as assessed using each of two recurrence-plot quantifiers. Each result was replicated; a positive-control procedure ruled out the possibility that the effect of the field was a product of the method of analysis. Measurements performed while the rabbits were under anesthesia suggested that the effect was mediated by N-methyl–aspartate and/or α2-adrenoceptors. No differences were found between exposed and control epochs in any animal when the experiment was repeated after the rabbits had been killed, indicating that a putative interaction between the field and the EEG electrodes could not account for the observed effects. We conclude that EMF transduction resulting in changes in brain electrical activity could be demonstrated consistently using a nonlinear method of analysis.

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