Is motivation influenced by geomagnetic activity?

S. Starbuck, Germaine G Cornelissen-Guillaume, F. Halberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


To eventually build a scientific bridge to religion by examining whether non-photic, non-thermic solar effects may influence (religious) motivation, invaluable yearly world wide data on activities from 1950 to 1999 by Jehovah's Witnesses on behalf of their church were analyzed chronobiologically. The time structure (chronome) of these archives, insofar as it is able to be evaluated in yearly means for up to half a century, was assessed. Least squares spectra in a frequency range from one cycle in 42 to one in 2.1 years of data on the average number of hours per month spent in work for the church, available from 103 different geographic locations, as well as grand totals also including other sites, revealed a large peak at one cycle in about 21 years. The non-linear least squares fit of a model consisting of a linear trend and a cosine curve with a trial period of 21.0 years, numerically approximating that of the Hale cycle, validated the about 21.0-year component in about 70% of the data series, with the non-overlap of zero by the 95% confidence interval of the amplitude estimate. Estimates of MESOR (midline-estimating statistic of rhythm, a rhythm (or chronome) adjusted mean), amplitude and period were further regressed with geomagnetic latitude. The period estimate did not depend on geomagnetic latitude. The about 21.0-year amplitude tends to be larger at low and middle than at higher latitudes and the resolution of the about 21.0-year cycle, gauged by the width of 95% confidence intervals for the period and amplitude, is higher (the 95% confidence intervals are statistically significantly smaller) at higher than at lower latitudes. Near-matches of periods in solar activity and human motivation hint that the former may influence the latter, while the dependence on latitude constitutes evidence that geomagnetic activity may affect certain brain areas involved in motivation, just as it was earlier found that it is associated with effects on the electrocardiogram and anthropometry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-297
Number of pages9
JournalBiomedicine and Pharmacotherapy
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Nov 2002


  • Geomagnetic activity
  • Motivation


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