Behavioral effects of mercury and methylmercury

  • Hugh L. Evans
  • Victor G. Laties
  • Bernard Weiss
Part of the FASEB Monographs book series (FASEBM, volume 4)


Intoxication by elemental mercury or by methylmercury is revealed primarily by changes in behavior and by neurological signs. Disorders of movement and posture have been most widely reported, both in animal experiments and in cases of human exposure. Specific sensory symptoms are also prominent in human methylmercury poisoning. Recent data indicate similar symptoms in monkeys during long-term exposure to methylmercury. Similar sensory impairment has not been described in experiments with sub-primates. Variations in the profile of behavioral and neurological effects are discussed in terms of differences in species and differences between acute and long-term exposure. The latter condition poses the most difficult questions for human health, yet has been less frequently studied. Procedures are suggested that may help to resolve these problems. In particular, tests of learned behavior hold great promise toward identifying specific symptoms and toward understanding how mercury compounds affect behavior.— Evans, H. L., V. G. Laties and B. Weiss. Behavioral effects of mercury and methylmercury. Federation Proc. 34: 1858-1867, 1975.


Mercury Concentration Squirrel Monkey Mercuric Chloride Inorganic Mercury Priming Dose 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
Supported in part by grants MH

11752 from the National Institute of Mental Health, NS-08048 from the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke, GI-300978 from the RANN program of the National Science Foundation, and by a contract between the University of Rochester and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. Report No. UR-3490-564.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hugh L. Evans
    • 1
  • Victor G. Laties
    • 1
  • Bernard Weiss
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Radiation Biology and Biophysics School of Medicine and DentistryUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA

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