This paper investigates the influence of EEG electrode caps on specific absorption rate (SAR) in the head from a GSM900 mobile phone (217-Hz modulation, peak power output 2 W). SAR measurements were recorded in an anthropomorphic phantom using a precision robotic system. Peak 10 g average SAR in the whole head and in just the temporal region was compared for three phantom arrangements; no cap, 64-electrode "Electro-Cap," and 64-electrode "Quick-Cap". Relative to the "no cap" arrangement, the Electro-Cap and Quick-Cap caused a peak SAR (10 g) reduction of 14% and 18% respectively in both the whole head and in the temporal region. Additional computational modeling confirmed that SAR (10 g) is reduced by the presence of electrode leads and that the extent of the effect varies according to the orientation of the leads with respect to the radiofrequency (RF) source. The modeling also indicated that the nonconductive shell between the electrodes and simulated head material does not significantly alter the electrode lead shielding effect. The observed SAR reductions are not likely to be sufficiently large to have accounted for null EEG findings in the past but should nonetheless be noted in studies aiming to measure and report human brain activity under similar exposure conditions.
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