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No. 86: Mar-Apr 1993

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Solar Radiation And Mental Illness

Following in the footsteps of the Dulls (1933) and Friedman et al (1963), three Israeli scientists have also found surprisingly high correlations between solar activity and psychiatric illnesses.

"Numbers of first admissions per month for a single psychiatric unit, from 1977 to 1987, were examined for 1829 psychiatric inpatients to assess whether this measure was correlated with 10 parameters of geophysical activity. Four statistically significant values were 0.197 with level of solar radioflux at 2800 MHz in the corresponding month, -0.274 with sudden magnetic disturbances of the ionosphere, -0.216 with the index of geomagnetic activity, and -0.262 with the number of hours of positive ionization of the ionosphere in the corresponding month. Percentages of variance accounted for were very small."

Quite understandably, these investigators concluded:

"How to interpret properly associations of solar activity with human behaviors is yet impossible. The relative indifference of behavioral scientists to this question may reflect lack of an adequate theoretical framework relating to the question and the phenomenon."

(Raps, Avi, et al; "Geophysical Variables and Behavior: LXIX. Solar Activity and Admission of Psychiatric Inpatients," Perceptual and Motor Skills, 74:449, 1992.)

From Science Frontiers #86, MAR-APR 1993. 1993-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:

Quotes

  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987