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Effects of exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic field of 2 μT intensity on spatial memory and learning in mice


Extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (ELFMF) have been reported to produce a variety of biological effects, interfere with the activity of the brain and may cause behavioral and cognitive disturbances. Some efforts have been made to investigate the incidence of ELFMF on human health and animal physiology and behavior. In the present study, we examined the effects of chronic exposure (1 and 2 weeks) to an extremely low-frequency magnetic field (ELFMF) of 2 μT intensity on memory in rats using a Morris water maze.

Materials and methods

We examined the changes in spatial learning and memory by the Morris water maze test after 1 weeks of daily exposure of rats to a 10-Hz and 30-Hz magnetic field of 2 μT for either 1 or 4 h.


We found that chronic exposure to ELF MF reduced the latency to find the hidden platform and improved long-term memory of former location of platform without affecting motor activity.


These findings for the first time indicate that chronic exposure to ELF MF exerts a positive effect on the acquisition and maintenance of spatial memory.


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The authors are grateful to Islamic Azad University of Mashhad, Iran for support.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Morteza Kafaee.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Kafaee, M., Tehranipour, M. & Haghpeima, A. Effects of exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic field of 2 μT intensity on spatial memory and learning in mice. Ann Gen Psychiatry 9, S129 (2010).

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  • Public Health
  • Magnetic Field
  • Biological Effect
  • Motor Activity
  • Chronic Exposure