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Maverick scientist thinks he has discovered a magnetic sixth sense in humans

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posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 09:53 AM
Interesting article published Today .. I have an interest as my directional sense has always been not very impressive..
The copied sections are to wet your appetites especially the second link has much more worth to read..

On one site..

(—A scientist who has dedicated a significant portion of his life to proving or disproving the notion that humans have an ability to detect and respond to Earth's magnetic field has given a talk at this year's meeting of the Royal Institute of Navigation at the University of London, suggesting that he has found evidence that it is true. Joe Kirschvink with the California Institute for Technology reported that experiments he and colleagues have been conducting have shown reproducible changes in brainwaves of volunteers who sat in a magnetically controllable chamber. Read more at:

A more detailed article published last week on the 23rd.. On sciencemag.. The comments are interesting on the site if you scroll down..

Birds do it. Bees do it. But the human subject, standing here in a hoodie—can he do it? Joe Kirschvink is determined to find out. For decades, he has shown how critters across the animal kingdom navigate using magnetoreception, or a sense of Earth’s magnetic field. Now, the geophysicist at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena is testing humans to see if they too have this subconscious sixth sense. Kirschvink is pretty sure they do. But he has to prove it. He takes out his iPhone and waves it over Keisuke Matsuda, a neuroengineering graduate student from the University of Tokyo. On this day in October, he is Kirschvink’s guinea pig. A magnetometer app on the phone would detect magnetic dust on Matsuda—or any hidden magnets that might foil the experiment. “I want to make sure we don’t have a cheater,” Kirschvink jokes.

Every few years, the Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN) in the United Kingdom holds a conference that draws just about every researcher in the field of animal navigation. Conferences from years past have dwelt on navigation by the sun, moon, or stars—or by sound and smell. But at this year’s meeting, in April at Royal Holloway, University of London, magnetoreception dominated the agenda. Evidence was presented for magnetoreception in cockroaches and poison frogs. Peter Hore, a physical chemist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, presented work showing how the quantum behavior of the cryptochrome system could make it more precise than laboratory experiments had suggested. Can Xie, a biophysicist from Peking University, pressed his controversial claim that, in the retina of fruit flies, he had found a complex of magnetic iron structures, surrounded by cryptochrome proteins, that was the long-sought magnetoreceptor. Then, in the last talk of the first day, Kirschvink took the podium to deliver his potentially groundbreaking news. It was a small sample—just two dozen human subjects—but his basement apparatus had yielded a consistent, repeatable effect. When the magnetic field was rotated counterclockwise—the equivalent of the subject looking to the right—there was sharp drop in α waves. The suppression of α waves, in the EEG world, is associated with brain processing: A set of neurons were firing in response to the magnetic field, the only changing variable. The neural response was delayed by a few hundred milliseconds, and Kirschvink says the lag suggests an active brain response. A magnetic field can induce electric currents in the brain that could mimic an EEG signal—but they would show up immediately. Kirschvink also found a signal when the applied field yawed into the floor, as if the subject had looked up. He does not understand why the α wave signal occurred with up-down and counterclockwise changes, but not the opposite, although he takes it as a sign of the polarity of the human magnetic compass. “My talk went *really* well,” he wrote jubilantly in an email afterwards. “Nailed it. Humans have functioning magnetoreceptors.” Others at the talk had a guarded response: amazing, if true. “It’s the kind of thing that’s hard to evaluate from a 12-minute talk,” Lohmann says. “The devil’s always in the details.” Hore says: “Joe’s a very smart man and a very careful experimenter. He wouldn’t have talked about this at the RIN if he wasn’t pretty convinced he was right. And you can’t say that about every scientist in this area.” Two months later, in June, Kirschvink is in Japan, crunching data and hammering out experimental differences with Matani’s group. “Alice in Wonderland, down the rabbit hole, that’s what it feels like,” he says. Matani is using a similarly shielded setup, except his cage and coils are smaller—just big enough to encompass the heads of subjects, who must lie on their backs. Yet this team, too, is starting to see repeatable EEG effects. “It’s absolutely reproducible, even in Tokyo,” Kirschvink says. “The doors are opening.”

posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 10:23 AM
a reply to: skywatcher44

Birds do it. Bees do it.

Bees navigate by the sun. Birdsds have a ring or halo of metal in their head to navigate during migrations.

Hardly connected to how people can tell North.

I had a friend that could do it 100% reliably. At parties we would blindfold him and spin him around. After a moment, he could always point north. I mean always.

posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 10:24 AM
What would happen if they found something?

I am not really susceptible - been in an MRT (1-3 Tesla), in a laboratory (several microtesla, but over several hundred m³), played with neodym-magnets (1 Tesla).

Should have felt something, right?

posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 10:27 AM
Cool find. I know the title was probably taken from the original article so this is more to the guy who wrote it and not you, but we already habe more than five senses.

A few more than five anyway.

Thermoception:  Ability to sense heat and cold.  This also is thought of as more than one sense.  This is not just because of the two hot/cold receptors, but also because there is a completely different type of thermoceptor, in terms of the mechanism for detection, in the brain.  These thermoceptors in the brain are used for monitoring internal body temperature.

I wonder if there is a health condition that alters how people are effected by the magnetic waves .... I know industrial magnets have been known to effect vision and heart rate ... hmmmmmm.

posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 10:28 AM
I don't understand

Is this that thing where you can feel someone looking at the back of your head?

posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 11:00 AM
Fom the second article.

The mounting scientific evidence for magnetoreception has largely been behavioral, based on patterns of movement, for example, or on tests showing that disrupting or changing magnetic fields can alter animals’ habits. Scientists know that animals can sense the fields, but they do not know how at the cellular and neural level. “The frontier is in the biology—how the brain actually uses this information,” says David Dickman, a neurobiologist at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, who in a 2012 Science paper showed that specific neurons in the inner ears of pigeons are somehow involved, firing in response to the direction, polarity, and intensity of magnetic fields. Finding the magnetoreceptors responsible for triggering these neurons has been like looking for a magnetic needle in a haystack. There’s no obvious sense organ to dissect; magnetic fields sweep invisibly through the entire body, all the time. “The receptors could be in your left toe,” Kirschvink says.

Link to 2012

posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 11:01 AM
a reply to: skywatcher44

Skywatcher, thank you for sharing this. I definitely believe it to be true - this is such a cool concept. Still need to read through the article but wanted to comment to show my appreciation and awe at this

posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 11:12 AM
Wow. With some super advanced tech, couldn't you just treat that as a conduit to get into and hack the brain? Granted, you could theoretically do those with the other senses too.

I think the most potential lies with using the optic nerve as a conduit because its bitrate has got to be the highest. So, there are more levers and switches to play around with, giving you more programmable options.
edit on 6/28/16 by RedDragon because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 11:20 AM
“The receptors could be in your left toe,” Kirschvink says.

Interesting, when I wake up my receptor always points north!

posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 11:24 AM
This is pretty cool!

I have a good sense of direction MOST of the time, however, there was one time I distinctly remember being VERY off and that was in one coastal town where I felt really creeped out and "off" the whole time after visiting an antique store which was reputed to have "haunted" antiques. The whole area felt weird, even before getting to the store. I know this is strange, but I felt like my ability to detect directional cues - an intuitive process in addition to a great visual memory - was thrown to the winds. I got very lost. My husband, on the other hand, who has a terrible intuitive sense of direction, suddenly obtained my level of skills and got us back on track. It was very disconcerting!!!

Could it have been contact with a weird electromagnetic field in the store? Or could the area itself have some strange magnetic anomalies? I don't know, but it sure as heck left me feeling disoriented. Specifically - my sense of direction had been turned around 180 degrees!!!

This might explain that?? I dunno. Just struck me as a possibility.

- AB

posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 11:37 AM
a reply to: skywatcher44

Cool find, but I have doubts.

The Arctic tern can fly from pole to pole without knowing the route on their first attempt, but we humans need directions or familial routes to get from point A to point B. To extrapolate, imagine a child in LA learning to ride a bike for the first time and then rode to Manhattan without looking at a map.

posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 11:50 AM
a reply to: AboveBoard

I remember once when very young 4 ish. My mom took me to my grandparents house and I still remember to this day it had changed sides on the road.. Ha my mom must have thought I was crackers,,

posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 12:00 PM

originally posted by: Thecakeisalie
a reply to: skywatcher44

Cool find, but I have doubts.

The Arctic tern can fly from pole to pole without knowing the route on their first attempt, but we humans need directions or familial routes to get from point A to point B. To extrapolate, imagine a child in LA learning to ride a bike for the first time and then rode to Manhattan without looking at a map.

Maybe because that's what we have been programmed to do..
modern humans have lost many abilities our ancestors had due to this education/programming/told what to believe..

posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 12:05 PM
This could make sense.. i seem to have always had an excellent sense of direction.. so much so people have always commented in it.

A story in would like to relay as it is sort of relevant.. i once knew a guy that lost his sight and picked up amazing skills in other areas because of it.
One in particular was.. and this is 100% true, I saw it with my own eyes..
He could be blindfolded and drive around the streets in his home town, without aid and would know exactly where to turn.. people used to give him routed to take and he would always do it. Without any help. (Obviously when there were no other vehicles on the road)

Now this may have just been memory but it always astonished me, and often thought there may have been some sort of 6th sense at work..
edit on 28/6/16 by Misterlondon because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 03:12 PM
Why not? It seems plausible enough that somewhere deep in the primitive parts of our brains is a dormant (or maybe not-so-dormant) ability to sense magnetic fields the way some birds and other animals do.

So, yeah.

Doing a little more reading on the subject, I see that there is a chemical called cryptochrome that some birds have as part of their visual pathways that is thought to aid them during their "Magnetoreception" navigation:

A Visual Pathway Links Brain Structures Active during Magnetic Compass Orientation in Migratory Birds

The magnetic compass of migratory birds has been suggested to be light-dependent. Retinal cryptochrome-expressing neurons and a forebrain region, “Cluster N”, show high neuronal activity when night-migratory songbirds perform magnetic compass orientation. By combining neuronal tracing with behavioral experiments leading to sensory-driven gene expression of the neuronal activity marker ZENK during magnetic compass orientation, we demonstrate a functional neuronal connection between the retinal neurons and Cluster N via the visual thalamus.

Humans also have cryptochromes in their eyes that may be part of a magnetoreception sense.

Human cryptochrome exhibits light-dependent magnetosensitivity

Humans are not believed to have a magnetic sense, even though many animals use the Earth's magnetic field for orientation and navigation. One model of magnetosensing in animals proposes that geomagnetic fields are perceived by light-sensitive chemical reactions involving the flavoprotein cryptochrome (CRY). Here we show using a transgenic approach that human CRY2, which is heavily expressed in the retina, can function as a magnetosensor in the magnetoreception system of Drosophila and that it does so in a light-dependent manner. The results show that human CRY2 has the molecular capability to function as a light-sensitive magnetosensor and reopen an area of sensory biology that is ready for further exploration in humans.

edit on 2016-6-28 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 05:25 PM
Personally I'd say that our sense of gravity and motion is our "sixth" sense. So this sense of direction would be a seventh sense. Not that such distinctions really make any difference.

posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 05:48 PM
a reply to: intrptr

i have the same ability, one of few.

When im facing North, i feel a slight pulling sensation in my feet and the back of my head, i feel the force makes like a triangle, pointing from a horizontal position from my head, out about 6 ft , then diagonally back to my feet.
Same as you could blind fold me and have me walk down the centre of a road and i will point out which house has their tv on with or without volume up, i dont hear the tv, i feel them.

Never worked out quite what to do with my ability, Cant see criminals through wooden doors, but im workin on it

posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 07:23 PM
a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck

Before this, we already more than 6 ....


Most of the list is commen sense if you think about it while reading it.

Wiki Link
edit on 6/28/16 by DeviantMortal because: Added a second source.

posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 08:13 PM
My dad could take 2 welding rods, bend them over about 3 inches from the end and rest them in his hands loosely. He'd use these rods to tell where water lines and sewer lines were under ground. With 100% accuracy, he'd hold them and walk slowly over an area. When they crossed, he'd stop and start digging, and always hit the pipe.

I've always thought of this as an electromagnetic phenomenon.

posted on Jun, 28 2016 @ 09:42 PM
a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

Thats great, i have seen an old bloke in the aussie out back do it with coat hangers, but welding rods.... i may keep 2 in the truck.

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