Mobile equipment use of wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) signal modulation has increased exponentially in the past few decades. However, there is inconclusive scientific evidence concerning the potential risks associated with the energy deposition in the brain from Wi-Fi and whether Wi-Fi electromagnetism interacts with cognitive function. In this study we investigated possible neurocognitive effects caused by Wi-Fi exposure. First, we constructed a Wi-Fi exposure system from commercial parts. Dosimetry was first assessed by free space radiofrequency field measurements. The experimental exposure system was then modeled based on real geometry and physical characteristics. Specific absorption rate (SAR) calculations were performed using a whole-body, realistic human voxel model with values corresponding to conventional everyday Wi-Fi exposure (peak SAR10g level was 99.22 mW/kg with 1 W output power and 100% duty cycle). Then, in two provocation experiments involving healthy human volunteers we tested for two hypotheses: 1. Whether a 60 min long 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi exposure affects the spectral power of spontaneous awake electroencephalographic (sEEG) activity (N = 25); and 2. Whether similar Wi-Fi exposure modulates the sustained attention measured by reaction time in a computerized psychomotor vigilance test (PVT) (N = 19). EEG data were recorded at midline electrode sites while volunteers watched a silent documentary. In the PVT task, button press reaction time was recorded. No measurable effects of acute Wi-Fi exposure were found on spectral power of sEEG or reaction time in the psychomotor vigilance test. These results indicate that a single, 60 min Wi-Fi exposure does not alter human oscillatory brain function or objective measures of sustained attention.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging