Along with their impact on the electrical grid geomagnetic storms effect our nervous system and psyche as a result. Sharp fluctuations in geomagnetic activity alter the hearts own electromagnetic field leading to an increase in heart rate, decrease in heart rate variability and all resulting behavioral aberrations. (2)(3)
The sea-saw tug of war between our sun and the galactic core co-determine what kind of energetic particles our atmosphere is exposed to. At times of extreme solar influence the probability of a strong geomagnetic storm occurring begins to increase in lock-step. Furthermore the strongest geomagnetic storms appear to correlate with flux transfer events that occur every 15 degrees along the celestial equator, starting from the galactic core.
Without sufficient mapping of the suns quasi-periodic nuclear turbulence we are essentially wading through the cosmos blind to periods of increased cardio-vascular stress. Since ischemic heart disease is the number one cause of death in the world this strikes me as upmost importance.
Through a finer understanding of geomagnetism we can begin to improve the predictive power of epidemiology, potentially saving millions of lives in the process. Let the following compilation serve as a repository for whatever information has been made available on the bio-psychological effects of geomagnetic storms.
This essay will begin with an introduction to one concept that we are all familiar with – heart rate. It is common knowledge that our heart rate increases in response to physical exertion as well as any kind of perceived threat that provokes the autonomic nervous system to produce more blood. What is less understood, is why geomagnetic storms appear to quicken the heart rate as well.
“Effects of HR increase pronounced for high levels of geomagnetic activity and large decreases in cosmic ray intensity” (2)
What we do know is that blood is responsible for shuttling oxygen to peripheral muscle groups necessary for a quick fight-flight response Therefor when our heart rate speeds up it is either preparing us for more physical exertion, such as with exercise, or for some sort of physical exertion that has yet to occur, in the case of a fight-flight response.
Since our heart responds to geomagnetic storm it is likely that such feedback has existed for quite some time, indeed perhaps since the beginning of life as we know it.
I propose that this increase in heart rate, along with other biophysical markers are meant to prepare us for periodic climatological changes. In another essay I delve into detail on correlations between space weather and terrestrial events such as tropical storms, and earthquakes.
“A positive correlation of the EEG data with the geomagnetic activity was revealed, being most obvious in the frontal and central areas. (1)
Prefrontal Cortex: planning complex cognitive behavior, personality expression, decision making, and moderating social behavior
Somatic Motor Association Cortex: space perception. action understanding and imitation. goal-directed hand and mouth movements. Visually guided and internally determined sequential movements. Transition-specific neurons (active only at the transitional phase between two steps) were more common in PM. action verb understanding. object semantics. Tool observation. Silent tool-use naming (6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
Primary Sensory Cortex: main sensory receptive area for the sense of touch.
Primary Motor Cortex: controls the voluntary movements of skeletal muscles;
“The degree of synchronisation of the spontaneous EEG seems to reflect sensitivity of the human nervous system to the Earth’s magnetic field.
A stressor response to strong short-term disturbances in the geomagnetic field reveals itself in the form of enhancement of the EEG global synchronisation.
A sedative effect of slow magnetic oscillations is locally revealed in the parameters of the EEG synchronisation within the left hemisphere as well as the interhemisphere synchronisation.”(1)
beta-band GFS values decreased during high emotional arousal (11)
“The experiment using a normal population resulted in a chance expected hit rate of exactly 25%; the creative population resulted in a hit rate of 41% (exact b
“Magnetic nanoparticles are embedded in the inner ear (Ho). They may form the basis of an endogenous compass in certain organisms. A geomagnetic field could induce magnetite displacements detectable by the hair cells for purposes of geomagnetic orientation. Kirschvink et al. (I992)