Send to

Choose Destination
Trends Neurosci. 2000 Apr;23(4):153-9.

The neurobiology of magnetoreception in vertebrate animals.

Author information

Dept of Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


Diverse vertebrate animals can sense the earth's magnetic field, but little is known about the physiological mechanisms that underlie this sensory ability. Three major hypotheses of magnetic-field detection have been proposed. Electrosensitive marine fish might sense the geomagnetic field through electromagnetic induction, although definitive evidence that such fish actually do so has not yet been obtained. Studies with other vertebrates have provided evidence consistent with two different mechanisms: biogenic magnetite and chemical reactions that are modulated by magnetic fields. Despite recent progress, however, primary magnetoreceptors have not yet been identified unambiguously in any animal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center