Acute Impact of an Extremely Low Frequency Magnetic Stimulus on Human Neurophysiological Function

Power-lines and electric appliances are the main sources of daily human exposure to power-frequency magnetic fields (MF, 60 Hz in North America). In order to protect the public and workers from potential adverse effects, international agencies publish MF exposure guidelines based on the “best estimate” available regarding the levels producing an acute biological effects in humans, which is called magnetophosphenes (flickering lights perceived eyes closed in the dark while exposed to a strong MF). Since 2005, we investigate power-frequency MF exposures and reported effects on human movement, memory, brain activity, postural control and magnetophosphenes. In this project, the interns will be involved in improving the characterization of visual (magnetophosphenes) and postural (standing balance) responses to high-level power-frequency MF exposure, providing insights into interaction mechanisms. These results will improve international guidelines protecting the public and workers from MF adverse effects, and will have potential for translational developments (diagnostic and therapeutic applications).

Alicia Allen
Shirin Davarpanah Jazi
Faculty Supervisor: 
Alexandre Legros