A maverick scientist becomes a guinea pig


Spencer Lowell

A variety of creatures across the animal kingdom navigate by sensing Earth’s magnetic field—a talent known as magnetoreception. Joe Kirschvink, a geophysicist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, is trying to figure out whether humans can do the same. Here he is, about to be exposed to custom magnetic fields generated by an array of electrical coils, while an electroencephalogram machine records his brain waves.

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