Rowers’ high: Behavioural synchrony is correlated with elevated pain thresholds

Cohen, E., Ejsmond-Frey, R., Knight, N., & Dunbar, R. (2010). Rowers’ high: Behavioural synchrony is correlated with elevated pain thresholds. Biology Letters, 6, 106-108. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2009.0670.
Physical exercise is known to stimulate the release of endorphins, creating a mild sense of euphoria that has rewarding properties. Using pain tolerance (a conventional non-invasive assay for endorphin release), we show that synchronized training in a college rowing crew creates a heightened endorphin surge compared with a similar training regime carried out alone. This heightened effect from synchronized activity may explain the sense of euphoria experienced during other social activities (such as laughter, music-making and dancing) that are involved in social bonding in humans and possibly other vertebrates
Publication type
Journal article
Publication date
2010

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