Analysis of auditory evoked potential parameters in the presence of radiofrequency fields using a support vector machines method

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Abstract

The paper presents a study of global system for mobile (GSM) phone radio-frequency effects on human cerebral activity. The work was based on the study of auditory evoked potentials (AEPs) recorded from healthy humans and epileptic patients. The protocol allowed the comparison of AEPs recorded with or without exposure to electrical fields. Ten variables measured from AEPs were employed in the design of a supervised support vector machines classifier. The classification performance measured the classifier′s ability to discriminate features performed with or without radiofrequency exposure. Most significant features were chosen by a backward sequential selection that ranked the variables according to their pertinence for the discrimination. Finally, the most discriminating features were analysed statistically by a Wilcoxon signed rank test. For both populations, the N100 amplitudes were reduced under the influence of GSM radiofrequency (mean attenuation of −0.36μV for healthy subjects and −0.6OμV for epileptic patients). Healthy subjects showed a NIOO latency decrease (−5.23ms in mean), which could be consistent with mild, localised heating. The auditory cortical activity in humans was modified by GSM phone radio-frequencies, but an effect on brain functionality has not been proven.

MBEC online number: 20043906