Human magnetic sense is mediated by a light and magnetic field resonance-dependent mechanism

Sci Rep. 2022 May 30;12(1):8997. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-12460-6.


Numerous organisms use the Earth's magnetic field as a sensory cue for migration, body alignment, or food search. Despite some contradictory reports, yet it is generally accepted that humans do not sense the geomagnetic field. Here, we demonstrate that a magnetic field resonance mechanism mediates light-dependent magnetic orientation in men, using a rotary chair experiment combined with a two-alternative forced choice paradigm. Two groups of subjects were classified with different magnetic orientation tendencies depending on the food context. Magnetic orientation of the subjects was sensitive to the wavelength of incident light and was critically dependent on blue light reaching the eyes. Importantly, it appears that a magnetic field resonance-dependent mechanism mediates these responses, as evidenced by disruption or augmentation of the ability to orient by radiofrequency magnetic fields at the Larmor frequency and the dependence of these effects on the angle between the radiofrequency and geomagnetic fields. Furthermore, inversion of the vertical component of the geomagnetic field revealed a non-canonical inclination compass effect on the magnetic orientation. These results establish the existence of a human magnetic sense and suggest an underlying quantum mechanical magnetoreception mechanism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Magnetic Fields*
  • Magnetics
  • Male
  • Orientation* / physiology
  • Radio Waves
  • Vibration