Rats, with their fur clipped, pressed a lever to turn on an infrared lamp while in a cold chamber. When they were exposed to continuous-wave microwaves at 2450 megahertz for 15-minute periods, the rate at which they turned on the infrared lamp decreased as a function of the microwave power density, which ranged between 5 and 20 milliwatts per square centimeter. This result indicates that behaviorally significant levels of heating may occur at an exposure duration and intensities that do not produce measurable changes in many other behavioral measures or in colonic temperature. Further study of how microwaves affect thermoregulatory behavior may help us understand such phenomena as the reported "nonthermal" behavioral effects of microwaves.

Related Content