Humans can detect the earth’s magnetic fields

Note4students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Magneto-reception in Human beings

Mains level: Not Much


News

  • Now a team of researchers has shown that humans do indeed unconsciously respond to the changes in the earth’s magnetic fields.
  • Scientists have long known that turtles, birds, honeybees and even bacteria can sense the earth’s magnetic field and use them for navigation.

Magneto-reception in Human Beings

  • Magneto-reception has hardly been tested in humans and many studies have been inconclusive.
  • The researchers wrapped with electrical coils, which helped simulate the earth’s natural magnetic field.
  • The participants were connected to an EEG set-up and their brain activity was monitored.
  • In the one-hour session, for a few minutes, the magnetic field around the chamber was shifted. They noticed that during this period, the alpha power of the brain began to drop.
  • When a human brain is unengaged, the alpha power is high.
  • When something catches its attention, consciously or unconsciously, its alpha power drops.
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