Effects of 5s exposures to a 50 μT, 20 Hz magnetic field on skin conductance and ratings of affect and arousal

Stevens, Paul (2001). Effects of 5s exposures to a 50 μT, 20 Hz magnetic field on skin conductance and ratings of affect and arousal. Bioelectromagnetics, 22(4) pp. 219–223.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/bem.44

Abstract

This study investigated the effect of a weak magnetic field (50 μT, 20 Hz sinusoidal, 5 s duration) on concurrent perceptions of visual stimuli. Subjects were seated between Helmholtz coils and gave post-exposure ratings for the affective content and arousing nature of presented images. They were blind as to the presence or absence of a simultaneously presented field. Skin conductance and arousal ratings did not show significant differences between experimental and control conditions, but the affective content rating did (P = 0.041), with the images viewed under field exposure being rated as having a more positive affect. Such measures might thus be useful as additional indicators of magnetic field detection. A post-hoc analysis of skin conductance profiles showed that 48% of subjects exhibited a lowering of skin conductance during field exposure, 34% exhibited no apparent reaction, and 17% exhibited an increase. Overall ratings given by each of the groups appeared to relate to these physiological profiles.

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