I've been ruminating on all this for a while, and since I have the time I just wanted to review/comment on the whole thread up to this point....Muddy Fox "Ok, I have had a cursory glance at Lily's scientific links on this thread and IMO neither are 100% conclusive, with apparent flaws in the research methods of each."
I think that's an excellent point. Evidence gathered from studies and statistical analysis have certain drawbacks associated with them just as personal anecdotal evidence does, so neither can really be considered as being any kind of "gold standard" or final word.Lily "to be honest with you? I don't think this research has been done...."
Agreed, the research has not been done. This thread wasn’t started to announce any supportable finding of fact though, it was started to ask questions and explore further the idea of how the action of electromagnetic radiation (visible or not) might possibly be used to explain the mechanism of operation in the anecdotally observed phenomena and its effects on those prone to mental or psychological instability.Lily "....and we certainly cannot come to a conclusion in this druid forum. but please prove me wrong."
Right, no conclusions. But then, I can't find one thread in any forum topic I've read or participated in since going on line three years ago that reached any conclusion or unanimous consensus amounting to proof of anything. Does this mean that questions shouldn’t be asked or that possibilities can't be discussed?Lily “I find this article.... http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10820695”
Thanks for that Lily, I believe that’s the study I was looking for but couldn’t find.Lily “I would have liked to see something more detailed, such as having them keep a diary.”
I agree, a more in depth examination would have been useful, but even though it doesn’t begin to rise to the level of anything that could be considered proof, it (the article you found) may still be a valuable clue or piece of the puzzle. Another possible clue here.... http://fampra.oxfordjournals.org/conten ... abstract-1
. Lily “Let's not get personal. I was really trying to be neutral, aiming at nobody, it's not my fault if someone does not want to have their world view challenged.”
Right, that “firecracker” remark was inappropriate (sorry again), but I’m going to confine my apology to that alone, and I’ll explain why.Lily “....wouldn't e.g. artificial lighting interfere with that? considering that we probably get hours more exposure to indoor light per day than to the light of the full moon. imagine neon tubes, don't they flicker at 60 Hz?
Also light pollution by outdoor lighting comes into play as well... another different spectrum (think those orange street lamps)....”
When you threw artificial lighting into the discussion without specifying any wavelength, adding that they all flicker at 60 Hertz, a frequency of oscillation far removed from those being considered, along with the idea you repeatedly mention of one frequency “dominating” or “covering up” another, it led me to believe that you didn’t have a clear understanding of the circumstances under which waves of various frequencies do or don’t interact. So, when I wrote “You have to ask? No offense Lily, but if a high school dropout is here having to explain to you the fundamentals of physics I don't know how you expect to make any kind of meaningful contribution to this topic.”, I was really only challenging the premise of your remarks at that point, characterizing them (in so many words) as an “irrational interjection”, and an irrational interjection put conversationally is no less irrational.
As far as artificial light goes and the part it may or may not play in the whole thing.... the vast majority of the (anecdotal) evidence has come to us from thousands of years of observation by people from various cultures around the globe preceding the advent of artificial lighting, so I’m not sure if it will be productive to continue considering its effects. Lily “so basically we have the schizophrenia and the epilepsy left for the future discussion?”
Right, I’d like to just focus on schizophrenia for now (the impetus behind my original post). The example I mentioned of the effect that strobing lights can have on epileptics was used only to illustrate the point that there is already in place at least one well known observed effect (I believe the actual mechanism of operation is still unknown, open to correction) by which light can have a significant impact on the brain physiologically by means of the eye, an extension of the brain itself that is directly exposed to the environment. Explorer “wowwwwww - Aemilius, I realise that you don't know all the faces around here yet, but Lily is one of our very few genuine scientists here.
Well, she says she doesn’t want to discuss academics. As a ninth grade high school dropout it’s a non-issue for me, but (if you read this post) has she ever mentioned to you what branch of science she specializes in?Explorer “Don't insult her like that please.”
In hindsight, I really don’t think I insulted her (aside from that “firecracker” remark), I just challenged what seemed to me to be an obviously irrational interjection.Explorer “But, and I think this is the flaw in the logic... we are not telescopes that are able to distinguish one frequency from the other.
Even when all those different wavelengths of light reach us, and even enter our eyes, it will be the strongest visible light wavelenghts that will trigger our optical nerves and the asociated parts of the brain. So even when all of the moonlight will hit us at full force, we won't be able to notice it when there are brighter lights.”
Right, we are not telescopes, but I don’t think that necessarily means there is no unconscious or automatic physiological reaction to exposure on some level by another as yet unknown mechanism of operation.Lily “What is your theory then, again?
correct me if I am wrong… as I understand it (from your original posting)
- The light of the moon has some effect on human physiology, particularly those mentally susceptible.
- Could be beyond the visible spectrum.
- a couple paragraphs earlier you hypothesise at one point that it may be the optic nerve which would be the conduit of whatever effect moonlight has.
I think that sums it up nicely, except “has some effect” could be replaced by “may have some effect”.Lily “Since the rods and cones in our eyes are triggered by a breadth of wavelengths it could be that most of the light from the moon is covered up by light pollution ....
when we are blinded, yes, that's true, then we won't even see the moon.
Maybe I’m misunderstanding you, but I’m still having trouble with one kind of light “covering up” another. Anyway, even now with artificial lighting, people are rarely if ever walking around for any length of time blinded by bright light(s) to the point where this scenario could be seriously considered in connection with the observed phenomena. Besides, on a clear day when the sun is high in the sky I can still clearly see the moon. One would have to look directly at the sun or other bright light in order to be blinded to the point where the moon couldn’t be seen.Lily “But consider the theory that light from a certain part of the spectrum has a physiological effect e.g. on mental health - that might not be wired through the visual cortex at all. The pineal gland is also affected by light and it's wired from the retina, but not through the visual cortex.”
This is a good point and perhaps an important clue.... pineal gland abnormality in the form of unusual melatonin secretion in particular has been implicated in connection with schizophrenia.... http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1305641
Something else that’s interesting (from the link you posted Lily) with respect to the threshold intensity needed to elicit a response alluded to earlier in the thread.... “the graph of the rod absorption spectrum is not to scale; it’s included solely for comparative purposes. Rods are far more sensitive, and show a many-fold stronger response to light than cones.”....http://www.unm.edu/~toolson/human_cone_action_spectra.gif
So we now have a second example (thanks to Lily), in addition to the first mentioned earlier (epilepsy) of a known mechanism of operation whereby light can have a measurable physiological impact on the state of the brain (in this case the pineal gland), as well as a second route taken by the light generated impulses to another distinctly different light sensitive area of the brain where effects have been observed. Not only that, the route the light generated impulses from the retina take on their way to the pineal gland from the retina is curiously circuitous. In other words it’s not a direct connection from the retina to the pineal gland, but instead one that touches on a variety of other areas of potential significance on its way there, opening the door to even more possibilities with respect to explaining novel mood altering interactions that may be experienced by those susceptible to its influence.... http://accessscience.com/loadBinary.aspx?aID=9752&filename=518000FG0010.gifLily “now if the theory above was true, any effect of moonlight on human behaviour would have to be nixed if there is bad weather during the period of the full moon...”
Are you sure? You know, there are also wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation capable of penetrating cloud cover (ultraviolet and microwave radiation come to mind for starters).treegod “For statistical science individuality sucks, lol.”
Hah! Good one.... but for individuality statistical science really sucks!DaRC “1) Why is there such verbal evidence (from Police & Nurses) that a full moon on a weekend is not the time to be working nights?
The apocryphal stories are that people in general are a wilder on those nights and that A&E will be significantly more busy. As most of this would be in an urban environment full of light-pollution would moonlight alone be enough to have an effect?”
Unless the light pollution is of a similar frequency capable of interfering with the wavelength(s) of moonlight causing the effect, it would be just the same as if the artificial light weren’t there at all, incredible numbers of different wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation routinely occupy the same space without affecting, interfering or cancelling each other out. DJDrood (in response to DaRC) “Confirmation bias?”
Followed by....Lily “confirmation bias, yes, this paper specifically calls it the Transylvanian effect....”
Or could there be a little “denial bias” on the part of those conducting the studies, compiling the statistics and calculating the probabilities? I’ve noticed the scientific community generally loathes dealing with or confirming anything they can’t readily explain and wrap up in a nice neat little package. An example that immediately comes to mind is “rogue waves” up to forty meters in height (height open to correction) reportedly rising up from relatively calm seas under clear skies without warning reported by mariners for centuries. This was all dismissed by the scientific community as being nothing more than folklore and tall tales (sound familiar?).... until recently. Once video and other evidence emerged confirming the reality of them, the scientific community was forced to reverse itself, jumping into action to come up with all sorts of theories to explain them, calculating the statistical probability of the frequency of occurrence and greatest likelihood of where they would occur, etc., etc., etc., there are other examples of this sort of thing too. Just a thought.Lily “all I can do is repeat myself... before looking for explanations, look for evidence of an effect... and that isn't there, really, at least not at nearly the magnitude that popular myth has it....”
I couldn’t help but notice your passing over this portion of my post made just prior to your making that comment Lily....
“For about the last twenty years now I've been taking care of my now fifty-eight year old clinically diagnosed schizophrenic eldest brother who, when he moved in, was so severely affected by this condition he had become socially dysfunctional in the extreme, engaging in bizarre unpredictable behaviour, unable or unwilling to speak for days at a time. What caused me to initially make a connection with the Full Moon was the spontaneous outbursts of yelling at all times of the day and night that occurred on only three particular days each month like clockwork - the day before, the day of, and the day after the Full Moon. This went on for about ten years which established a definite recognizable pattern (in my opinion).”
I know it’s anecdotal evidence from everyone else’s point of view, but from my point of view this constitutes substantial and compelling evidence of an effect, and so I’m looking for explanations. Confirmation bias won’t do for an explanation either (at least in this instance). It’s not like somehow I might have selectively “tuned out” my brother yelling his head off the rest of the time, noticing it only during the full moon. Lily “we still only have one small study indicating a possible phenomenon in a very limited population, compared to a great popular myth.”
Right, one small study. The history of schizophrenia as a distinct mental disorder is fairly short, but if it has been with us for the last several thousand years, and I have no reason to believe it hasn’t, it actually could explain very nicely the “great popular myth” status we see currently. Just guessing here, but if a small percentage of the global population (even 1%) has been consistently observed reacting to the full moon by larger numbers of people making up the communities they live in or near, people could then very easily begin to project that behaviour onto others in the community who they perceive to be acting strangely around the same time, falsely attributing it to the full moon. Confirmation bias could then kick in, amplifying a small genuine effect into a widespread large one like we see now.