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Science & Technology

Human magnetic 'sixth sense' discovered

June 27, 2016 | Comment icon 19 comments

Is it possible for us to instinctively detect magnetic fields ? Image Credit: NASA / Peter Reid
A researcher in the United States believes he has found evidence of a magnetic 'sixth sense' in humans.
Joe Kirschvink from the California Institute of Technology maintains that he has found repeatable and verifiable evidence that humans are able to sense magnetic fields.

Building on an earlier study which indicated these same abilities in other animals, Kirschvink carried out a trial involving a small group of 24 volunteers who were asked to sit inside a Faraday cage - a special enclosure which blocks electromagnetic interference.
For the experiment the participants were exposed to a magnetic field while Kirschvink analyzed the electrical activity of their brains using an electrophysiological monitoring system.

While his findings have yet to be peer reviewed, he believes that the ability to detect magnetic fields stems from special magnetic receptor cells which act as 'compass needles'.

Further research is expected to be carried out in the near future to corroborate his results.

Source: | Comments (19)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #10 Posted by skookum 6 years ago
Very interesting, from a very young age I had a passion for navigation and could orientate which direction was North without a compass. I could do this in unfamiliar places in or outside. As I have got older it seems to have faded. It was a helpful skill before GPS, also fantastic when driving abroad. Few people believed me.
Comment icon #11 Posted by White Unicorn 6 years ago
I'm so glad they are finally researching this. I got an EMF detector to play with because I always thought I sensed them more then most people and concluded I had this extra sense. People have many unusual senses that are not researched enough.How the subconscious mind brings them to conscious awareness to each individidual is another story in itself!
Comment icon #12 Posted by Zalmoxis 6 years ago
Considering that our bodies have trace amounts of metals and our nervous systems work on electrical exchanges I wouldn't be surprised if there was some magnetic sensory. Thank you for this video.
Comment icon #13 Posted by highdesert50 6 years ago
Perhaps not too surprising when one considers how much DNA is shared among species. Birds, for example, are recognized as using magnetism for navigation. And, certain birds that hide their seeds to later retrieve them show a hippocampus that adjusts in size seasonally for mapping. Similarly, a study of London cab drivers showed a larger hippocampus in experienced drivers vs. those of less experience. We are better built than we often realize.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Emma_Acid 6 years ago
What are "sub creatures"?
Comment icon #15 Posted by third_eye 6 years ago
I still win bets frequently 'predicting' rain within three hours or less ...
Comment icon #16 Posted by pallidin 6 years ago
Oh, sorry, I just mean "non-humans", such as dogs, cats, birds, etc. My bad.
Comment icon #17 Posted by Emma_Acid 6 years ago
Given how these animals migrate, partially using magnetism, I don't think its odd that they are more sensitive to magnetic fields at all.
Comment icon #18 Posted by pallidin 6 years ago
My theory (completely unsubstantiated) is this: The human brain is divided into "conscious", "subconscious", and a smearing in-between. Not sure if non-human animals have the developed frontal cortex (?) that causes "consciousness" to be an overriding aspect of "human experience" In other words humans, with a dominant consciousness, for whatever reasons tends to suppress sub-conscious awareness. Exceptions include dreams, fight-or-flight response, clinical hypnosis and mental illness. Perhaps this "magnetic sensing" involves specialized brain cells which resides in the "primal brain", inaccess... [More]
Comment icon #19 Posted by pallidin 6 years ago
To go just a little further on this... I wonder if a clinically hypnotized human subject (which effects access to the subconscious), and spun blindfolded in a chair, could accurately indicate "which way is North"

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