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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