The Study of Cognition, Adolescents, and Mobile Phones (SCAMP)

Principal Investigators: Mireille Toledano (Imperial College), Paul Elliott (Imperial College), Iroise Dumontheil (Birkbeck), Martin Roosli (Swiss Tropical Public Health Institute), Michael Thomas (Birkbeck),

Funder: Department of Health



Project description: In the UK, 70-80% of 11-12 year olds own a mobile phone. Scientists remain uncertain as to whether children’s developing brains might be more vulnerable than adults to radio wave exposures to the head from mobile phones. This 3 year study follows a group of 2,500 secondary school children to investigate whether children’s use of mobile phones and/or other technologies that use radio waves e.g. portable landline phones and wireless internet, might affect their neurocognitive or behavioural development e.g. memory, problem solving skills.

The study is conducted in year 7 children (ages 11-12 years) from ~25 schools across outer London, with follow-up in year 9 (ages 13-14 years). Children undertake a computer assessment conducted at their school, including questions assessing: how fast and accurately they can solve problems and recall images; behavioural problems e.g. hyperactivity; and use of mobile phones, other radio frequency (RF) technologies and lifestyle. Information on phone usage is also obtained via mobile phone companies and from smartphone apps. This project uses innovative technology to record mobile phone usage without identifying users and content.


Mireku, M. O., Mueller, W., Fleming, C., Chang, I., Dumontheil, I., Thomas, M. S., … & Toledano, M. B. (2018). Total recall in the SCAMP cohort: validation of self-reported mobile phone use in the smartphone eraEnvironmental research161, 1-8.

Mireku, M. O., Barker, M. M., Mutz, J., Dumontheil, I., Thomas, M. S., Röösli, M., … & Toledano, M. B. (2019). Night-time screen-based media device use and adolescents’ sleep and health-related quality of life. Environment international124, 66-78.

Verghese, G. R., Friedman, K. G., Rathod, R. H., Meiri, A., Saleeb, S. F., Graham, D. A., … & Fulton, D. R. (2012). Resource utilization reduction for evaluation of chest pain in pediatrics using a novel standardized clinical assessment and management plan (SCAMP). Journal of the American Heart Association1(2), e000349.

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