The Electromagnetic Sense | Electricity of Life

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The Electromagnetic Sense | Electricity of Life

Post by Spiral on Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:06 pm

Published on 25 Feb 2016

Part 1 of our exploration of the awareness organisms have of the electromagnetic forces in their environment. Starting with our own species, we will examine some experiments in bioelectromagnetics which will likely come as a surprise to most viewers. This episode will focus on behavioral research, while part 2 will provide knowledge of cellular mechanisms of magnetoreception, and some additional behavioral studies.

Links for further information:

Evolution and Earth’s Electric Field (good article) :


n 1982 experienced anthropologist and pharmacologist Francis Ivanhoe published the first of multiple studies in which he would catalog an important discovery for evolutionary science. Surveying all known Paleolithic human skulls, he witnessed a correlation between ancient increases in magnetic field strength and sudden brain size increases in humans, as well as cultural/evolutionary revolutions such as the widespread utilization of fire as a tool. These periods of increased geomagnetic field strength (recorded geologically) occurred during the ice ages we call the Mindel and the Würm. He discussed this finding in articles over the course of 30 years, publishing in both the Journal of Bioelectricity and the Journal of Human Evolution.

Ivanhoe proposed that the upper section of the hippocampus called Ammon’s horn – an arch with one-way nerve traffic driven by a strong current – might be acting as a transducer which feels the strength of Earth’s magnetic field and sends impulses to other brain structures to affect growth hormone production (prolactin specifically). Ivanhoe also pointed out that, among primates, humans are distinctive in the size of our hippocampus and the development of its connections with the hypothalamus. The hippocampus also contains magnetite, but more on that later.

The idea that humans are biologically connected to the Earth’s field is certainly not new to science, and there is more evidence to suggest the connection than there is to suggest otherwise. Perhaps the most important series of experiments to investigate that topic was led by Rutger Wever of the Max Plank Institute in Munich, utilizing two sensory-isolation bunkers made to house human residents for prolonged periods of time. Each was shielded from all conventional environmental cues to the outside world, such as sound, light, and heat, but one was additionally shielded from all electromagnetic influence. From 1964 to 1989 he observed the influence of electromagnetic forces on hundreds of participants, some living in the bunkers for up to two months. Various indicators of chemical and behavioral health were monitored throughout the experiment, and the electromagnetically-shielded bunker was designed so that people could be re-exposed to selected frequencies from a wide spectrum.

Links to things discussed on the video are at

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