I would happily invite these scientists to go work a shift at the residential school i used to work at during the full moon.
When the full moon and the kids behaviour was talked about, it was no joke.
Originally posted by VeritasAequitas
I will have to call bunk as well here. Having studied the effects and causes of those around me, I have personally noticed an increase in behavior during certain moon cycles. Now if the Sun can affect your overall mood and positive well being, why would the Moon not have its own effects on the human body?edit on 24-11-2012 by VeritasAequitas because: (no reason given)
The primary circadian "clock" in mammals is located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (or nuclei) (SCN), a pair of distinct groups of cells located in the hypothalamus. Destruction of the SCN results in the complete absence of a regular sleep–wake rhythm. The SCN receives information about illumination through the eyes. The retina of the eye contains "classical" photoreceptors ("rods" and "cones"), which are used for conventional vision. But the retina also contains specialized ganglion cells which are directly photosensitive, and project directly to the SCN where they help in the entrainment of this master circadian clock.
These cells contain the photopigment melanopsin and their signals follow a pathway called the retinohypothalamic tract, leading to the SCN. If cells from the SCN are removed and cultured, they maintain their own rhythm in the absence of external cues.
The SCN takes the information on the lengths of the day and night from the retina, interprets it, and passes it on to the pineal gland, a tiny structure shaped like a pine cone and located on the epithalamus. In response, the pineal secretes the hormone melatonin. Secretion of melatonin peaks at night and ebbs during the day and its presence provides information about night-length.
Several studies have indicated that pineal melatonin feeds back on SCN rhythmicity to modulate circadian patterns of activity and other processes. However, the nature and system-level significance of this feedback are unknown.
The circadian rhythms of humans can be entrained to slightly shorter and longer periods than the Earth's 24 hours. Researchers at Harvard have recently shown that human subjects can at least be entrained to a 23.5-hour cycle and a 24.65-hour cycle (the latter being the natural solar day-night cycle on the planet Mars)
This so-called 'theory' is wrong in a few ways.
First, the Moon-tides thing happens because the oceans are large, and made of a liquid. They would still happen if the liquid was freezing liquid hydrogen, room temperature mercury, or hot liquid iron. It doesn't have to be water.
Second, tides happen only over large expanses, not within the small dimensions of a human body.
Third, the ocean tides still happen if the Moon is full, new or half-full. The Moon still has a gravitational effect even if the Sun doesn't fully light it up for us.
A better theory to explain it all is selective recall. It's a busy night, and you look out the window to see that rare animal, the full Moon. You put two and two together to make five, and assume that the full Moon made your night busy.
This belief that the full Moon massively affects human behaviour is a cultural fossil. It's a memory of the effect that we would party on a full Moon, way back when we had no artificial light.
But in our modern society, it's just moonshine.