Scientists Find Evidence That Your Brain Can Sense Earth’s Magnetic Field
By Yasemin Saplakoglu, Staff Writer | March 18, 2019
A magnetic field surrounds our planet and protects it from solar radiation. Our brains might be able to tune into it.
For some creatures, the magnetic field that hugs our planet serves as a compass for navigation or orientation.
Migratory birds, sea turtles and certain types of bacteria are counted among the species with this built-in navigation system. But what about humans? According to a new study, humans can also sense Earth’s magnetic field.
The new study, published today (March 18) in the journal eNeuro, provides the first direct evidence, from brain scans, that humans can do so, likely through magnetic particles scattered around the brain. The ability to detect the magnetic field, called magnetoreception, was first suggested to exist in humans back in the 1980s. But subsequent studies of the brain, from the 1990s, didn’t find evidence of the ability. But with access to new data analysis techniques, an international group of researchers decided to take another look.
Manipulating the magnetic field…