Effects of extremely low-frequency magnetic fields on the response of a conductance-based neuron model

Guosheng Yi, Jiang Wang, Xile Wei, Bin Deng, Kai Ming Tsang, Wai Lok Chan, Chunxiao Han

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


To provide insights into the modulation of neuronal activity by extremely low-frequency (ELF) magnetic field (MF), we present a conductance-based neuron model and introduce ELF sinusoidal MF as an additive voltage input. By analyzing spike times and spiking frequency, it is observed that neuron with distinct spiking patterns exhibits different response properties in the presence of MF exposure. For tonic spiking neuron, the perturbations of MF exposure on spike times is maximized at the harmonics of neuronal intrinsic spiking frequency, while it is maximized at the harmonics of bursting frequency for burst spiking neuron. As MF intensity increases, the perturbations also increase. Compared with tonic spiking, bursting dynamics are less sensitive to the perturbations of ELF MF exposure. Further, ELF MF exposure is more prone to perturb neuronal spike times relative to spiking frequency. Our finding suggests that the resonance may be one of the neural mechanisms underlying the modulatory effects of the low-intensity ELF MFs on neuronal activities. The results highlight the impacts of ELF MFs exposure on neuronal activity from the single cell level, and demonstrate various factors including ELF MF properties and neuronal spiking characteristics could determine the outcome of exposure. These insights into the mechanism of MF exposure may be relevant for the design of multi-intensity magnetic stimulus protocols, and may even contribute to the interpretation of MF effects on the central nervous systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1450007
JournalInternational Journal of Neural Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2014


  • Extremely low-frequency magnetic field
  • Neuron
  • Resonance
  • Spike times
  • Spiking frequency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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