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January 2022

Atmospheric electromagnetism: Individual differences in brain electrical response to simulated sferics

Author(s): Stark, R., Kulzer, R., Klopper, R., Vaitl, D.

Journal/Book: Int J Psychophysiol. 1996; 21: PO Box 211, 1000 AE Amsterdam, Netherlands. Elsevier Science BV. 177-188.

Abstract: The living organism is constantly affected by natural electromagnetic influences covering a wide range of frequencies and amplitudes. One of these natural influences is represented by a phenomenon called atmospherics or sferics. Sferics are very weak electromagnetic impulses generated by atmospheric discharges (lightning). With a newly developed simulation system it was possible to reproduce a previously registered sferics signal and present it to 52 subjects while recording the electroencephalogram (EEG). The repeated application of this stimulus for ten minutes evoked a significant decrease in alpha power in parietal and occipital regions compared to the control condition without sferics presentation. Two constitutional factors were revealed as mediators of sferics effectiveness: the general physical condition of the subjects, and their neuroticism. Individuals with many somatic complaints and a high degree of emotional lability did not respond to the sferics stimulation. This absence of a response is interpreted as an adaptational deficit in reaction to variations in atmospheric parameters.

Note: Article A Schienle, Univ Giessen, Dept Clin & Physiol Psychol, Otto Behaghel Str 10, D-35394 Giessen, Germany

Keyword(s): biometeorology; sferics; EEG; somatic complaints; neuroticism; weather sensitivity; KHZ; WEATHER; ONSET

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