OBJECTIVES: Mobile phones (MP) are used extensively and yet little is known about the effects they may have on human physiology. There have been conflicting reports regarding the relation between MP use and the electroencephalogram (EEG). The present study suggests that this conflict may be due to methodological differences such as exposure durations, and tests whether exposure to an active MP affects EEG as a function of time. METHODS: Twenty-four subjects participated in a single-blind fully counterbalanced cross-over design, where both resting EEG and phase-locked neural responses to auditory stimuli were measured while a MP was either operating or turned off. RESULTS: MP exposure altered resting EEG, decreasing 1-4 Hz activity (right hemisphere sites), and increasing 8-12 Hz activity as a function of exposure duration (midline posterior sites). MP exposure also altered early phase-locked neural responses, attenuating the normal response decrement over time in the 4-8 Hz band, decreasing the response in the 1230 Hz band globally and as a function of time, and increasing midline frontal and lateral posterior responses in the 30-45 Hz band. CONCLUSIONS: Active MPs affect neural function in humans and do so as a function of exposure duration. The temporal nature of this effect may contribute to the lack of consistent results reported in the literature.