The nervous system consists of the peripheral nerves, the spinal cord, and the brain. It is the means by which the organism receives information from the environment, and by which it controls its internal processes. With the exception of visual systems which are generally sensitive to only a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, most animals seem to lack specific receptors for EMFs. Thus, in most cases, EMFs cannot be consciously perceived unless thay are so intense that they stimulate sensory nerves via the familiar phenomena of shock or heat. However, not all information gathered by the senses is processed at the conscious level, and there is no physiological principle that would preclude the subliminal detection of EMFs by the nervous system. Indeed, considering both the rich frequency spectrum of naturally-present EMFs that has existed throughout the evolutionary period, and its known relationship to geological, atmospheric, and cosmological phenomena, it would be surprising if the nervous system were not sensitive to low-level EMFs.

The nervous system is the body's master controller. An EMF effect on it could be expressed in two ways: an alteration in the properties or function of the nervous system itself, such as in its electrical, biochemical, or histological characteristics (primary effect); or an alteration in the body's systems or organs that are controlled by the nervous system, such as the endocrine or cardiovascular systems (indirect effect). In this chapter we describe the reports of primary effects on the nervous system- effects involving other organs and tissues are described in the succeeding three chapters.

Chapter 5 Index