Rowers’ high: Behavioural synchrony is correlated with elevated pain thresholds
Cohen, E., Ejsmond-Frey, R., Knight, N., & Dunbar, R.
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