IMPORTANCE OF STUDYING THE EFFECTS OF MOBILE PHONE CALLS
The cellular or mobile phone is one of the great inventions of the 20th century. In the first decade of the 21st century, there has been a cellular phone craze among the young generation due to the powerful features of display technology, besides use for making phone calls. The key features of mobile phone technology, including text messages, email, calls, Internet searching, videos, games, social networking, and social applications, have such widespread interest that the young generation is fully addicted.
Presently, the mobile phone provides an incredible array of functions, such as huge storage for personal contact directories, pictures, movies, GPS tracking, TV streaming, and so on. The basic working principle of the cellular phone is that it converts voice or text information into an electrical signal, which is then transmitted as radio waves (a kind of electromagnetic or EM wave) to the destination device via the intermediate base station. The mobile phone devices are continuously active and ready for transmitting and receiving EM waves. The effects of EM radiation on brain health are reported in previous research as a serious risk factor.11-14 The users’ feedback indicated that phone calls cause fatigue and dizziness13; while long-term users are more vulnerable to brain tumors.15,16 The reason may be that EM waves penetrate into the brain,17-19 especially the auditory regions in the temporal lobe, because mobile phone users keep the device very close to their ears when receiving calls. Thus, the most affected regions of the brain are the auditory regions in the temporal lobe. The temporal lobe is also functional in memory tasks; thus, EM radiation alters neuronal activities during memory tasks.20
Neuroimaging techniques such as EEG have been used to study the effects of cellular phones on the human brain, e.g., in memory tasks and during resting states.20,21 Since the practice of keeping mobile phones set close to the ear is common, it will be interesting to investigate the use of mobile phones both in conditions of very close to the ear (in other words, close to the brain) and at a distance while receiving a phone call. In addition, using the left ear or right ear (left or right of the brain) during receiving phone calls will explore the brain regions most vulnerable to EM radiation.