Cell Phones Sometimes Cause Real Pain
People are increasingly complaining of being “electrosensitive.” For them, the cell’s electromagnetic fields cause severe pain—and in Sweden sufferers build houses that block the supposed damaging electric fields.
But there’s a glitch. Studies have shown that such victims feel the same discomfort when in the presence of phones as they do when they’re near real phones. So what’s going on?
Research at the University of Regensburg finds one possible source of this pain. They told 30 participants they’d be exposed to two stimuli: a heat-emitting thermode and an active cell phone. The thermode was real, but the phone was a phony.
And their reports matched their actual physiological response. When exposed to the sham brain scans the control group revealed no effect. But the electrosensitive group showed increased activity in brain areas specific to pain perception.
So the pain is real—even if the phone isn’t. And the real cause lies somewhere in their hurting heads.