Humans appear to possess some level of magnetoreception. Image Credit: NASA / Peter Reid
Scientists now believe that humans, like birds, may be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field.
It might sound like something out of a comic book, but according to a team of researchers from the US and Japan, there are indications that humans possess a rudimentary form of magnetoreception.
In a recent experiment, a number of volunteers were sat inside a six-sided cage with walls made from aluminium to shield the setup from electromagnetic interference.
Special coils were built in to the cage that could be used to produce magnetic fields.
Each participant was exposed to various strengths and orientations of
magnetic field while their brain waves were measured using an electroencephalogram (EEG).
The researchers ultimately detected an intriguing drop in alpha brain waves under certain conditions that seemed to indicate that the participants were able to detect the changes in magnetism.
While it is unclear exactly what mechanism might enable a human to perceive a magnetic field, it does appear as though we possess at least some level of magnetic awareness.
"Given that a number of other animals can sense Earth's magnetic field, it is certainly within the realm of possibility that humans can as well," said magnetoreception expert Prof Kenneth Lohmann.
Source: The Guardian | Comments (4)
Similar stories based on this topic:
Magnetic Field, Earth