Academic journal article The Journal of Parapsychology

Local Sidereal Time, Global Geomagnetic Field Fluctuations and Memory

Academic journal article The Journal of Parapsychology

Local Sidereal Time, Global Geomagnetic Field Fluctuations and Memory

Article excerpt

We acknowledge the financial support of the John Bjorkhem Memorial Foundation and thank Lars-Goran Nilsson, who kindly allowed us access to the Betula database, and Karen Williams for her skillful debugging of the English language.

ABSTRACT: The impetus for this study was the findings of Spottiswoode showing that free-response anomalous cognition (AC) effect size appears to be associated with local sidereal time (LST) and that correlations between AC effect size and global geomagnetic field (GMF) fluctuations appear to vary with LST. The need for replicating these findings in light of the lack of a sufficient amount of new AC data was highlighted. Using as an example a previous study on traffic accidents as related to GMF fluctuations and LST (Westerlund & Dalkvist), the authors suggested that data from nonparapsychological databases could be used to test Spottiswoode's findings.

Memory data from 2,859 participants, collected in an ongoing prospective study on memory and health in Umea, a city in the northern part of Sweden, were examined for effects of GMF fluctuations and LST. On the basis of modern memory theory, 3 different types of memory were distinguished: episodic (personal), semantic (knowledge about the world), and implicit (unconscious).

Using epoch analysis for episodic and semantic memory, the authors found that the correlation pattern between memory performance and the ap geomagnetic index (a measure of GMF fluctuations) converged toward a negative correlation at the day of simultaneous measurement of the 2 variables and close to the hour of simultaneous measurement (1 or 2 hr later). Although these results are not directly relevant for testing Spottiswoode's findings, and need to be confirmed, they do suggest that future research on GMF fluctuations as related to various types of data--ordinary psychological as well as purely parapsychological data--should be a fruitful approach within parapsychology. …

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