Heart Rates Synchronize When People Listen To Stories Together: Study

News: People unconsciously synchronize breathing, heart beat and other bodily functions when having a personal conversation or sharing experiences with others. A New study published in the journal Cell Reports, revealed that people’s heart rate synchronises even if they are listening attentively to stories by themselves.

The research team conducted a series of four experiments to explore the role of consciousness and attention in synchronizing participants’ heart rates. In the first experiment, healthy volunteers listened to an audiobook of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The researchers found that the majority of subjects showed increases and decreases in their heart rate (as measured by electrocardiogram EKG) at the same points in the narrative, based on what was happening in the story.

In the second experiment, volunteers watched short instructional and educational videos with no underlying emotional variations. As long as participants paid attention to study their heart rates showed fluctuations and later dropped when the participants lacked attention. This experiment confirmed that paying attention is important for heart rate synchronization and emotional engagement in a story plays no role in it.

The third experiment involves listening to short children’s stories. Some participants were attentive, while others were distracted, and then were asked to recall facts from the stories. The researchers found that more synchronization predicted better test scores. This indicated that changes in heart rate were a signal of conscious processing of the narrative. However, researchers didn’t find the same synchronization among the subjects when they looked at the changes in breathing rates, which affect heart rates.
In the fourth experiment, the researchers included both healthy volunteers and patients with disorders of consciousness — such as those in comas or persistent vegetative states. All the participants listened to an audiobook of a children’s story. The patients had lower rates of heart synchronization than did healthy controls. When the patients were examined six months later, some of them with higher synchronization had regained some consciousness.

Previous studies showed that when two people are physically present in the same place, they synchronize their physiology with each other. In the new study researchers observed that this phenomenon is broader. “And that simply following a story and processing stimulus will cause similar fluctuations in people’s heart rates. It’s the cognitive function that drives your heart rate up or down,“ says co-senior author Lucas Parra. “What’s important is that the listener is paying attention to the actions in the story,” adds co-senior author Jacobo Sitt

“This research is a step in the direction of looking at the brain-body connection more broadly, in terms of how the brain affects the body,” says Parra.

To Know More You May Refer To:

Pérez, P., Madsen, J., Banellis, L., Türker, B., Raimondo, F., Perlbarg, V., Valente, M., Niérat, M., Puybasset, L., Naccache, L., Similowski, T., Cruse, D., Parra, L. C., & Sitt, J. D. (2021). Conscious processing of narrative stimuli synchronizes heart rate between individuals. Cell Reports, 36(11), 109692. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109692

Up Next

Do Women Prefer Men With Tougher Facial Features? Research Finds

Why Men With Tougher Facial Features Attract More

Psychology News

A team of researchers at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam explored how women, when faced with uncertainty, are attracted to men with tougher facial features. The study is published in the European Journal of Social Psychology.

The Study

The researchers surveyed data from Amazon Mechanical Turk. The participants were instructed to think and write about a situation in which they felt either uncertain or certain about a romantic date.

They were then presented with images of potential dates with either “tender” or “tough” facial attractiveness in a dating


READ FULL ARTICLE ⇲
Up Next

Couples Working From Home Together Share Family Tasks Equally: Study

Couples Working From Home Together

Psychology News

A team of researchers at Ohio State University explored how couples working from home together approach domestic labor. The study is published in the journal Personnel Psychology.

The Study

The researchers conducted two studies with dual-earning couples working from home in China and Korea, respectively. All participants completed two surveys for 14 consecutive workdays.

Each pair of husband and wife completed questionnaires about their work-from-home status, flexible work schedules, the amount of work and family tasks they completed, work-family conflict,


READ FULL ARTICLE ⇲
Up Next

Visual Food Cues Affect Our Food Choices: Study Finds

Visual Food Cues Affect Our Food Choices

Psychology News

A team of researchers at Osaka Metropolitan University explored how visual food cues influence our eating behavior. The study is published in PLOS ONE.

The Study

The researchers asked 31 healthy male volunteers to respond to visual food cues or food images in a series of experiments. Their brain activity was recorded and analyzed.

The Findings

The results revealed that visual food cues can affect your eating behavior. Certain food visuals affect food ch


READ FULL ARTICLE ⇲
Up Next

Victims Of Workplace Bullying Are Highly Likely To Believe In Conspiracy Theories: Study

Workplace Bullying Turns Victims Into Conspiracy Theorists

Psychology News

A team of researchers at the University of Nottingham explored the link between workplace bullying and conspiracy theories. The study is published in the journal Social Psychology.

The Study

The researchers conducted two studies. In the first study, they interviewed 273 victims of bullying about conspiracy beliefs. In the second study, 206 participants were asked to imagine possible experiences of workplace bullying and report their inclination to believe in conspiracy theories.

Participants from both studies completed assessments of


READ FULL ARTICLE ⇲
Up Next

Does Talking To Strangers Benefit Your Mental Health? Experts Opine.

Does talking to strangers benefit your mental health

Recent research shows that talking to strangers helps your mental health.

Such a tiny practice on a daily basis can help reduce the risks of depression and anxiety.

Social Connection And Mental Health

Human beings are social animals. Studies show that socializing, connecting, and networking with people keep us happier, more confident, mindful, and psychologically resilient. Forging and maintaining social connections have been positively associated with:

Reduced loneliness

READ FULL ARTICLE ⇲
The “Madness” Of Love Is Heaven’s Greatest Blessing? How The Film ‘Gone Girl’ Depicts Antisocial Personality Disorder And Psychopathy Stonehearst Asylum: Uncovering the Dark Past of Mental Health Treatments Billy Milligan: The Man With “24” Faces The Boy Who Stayed Awake For 11 Days Straight How Netflix’s “Wednesday” Explores Adolescent Stress And Therapy What Harry Potter Teaches Us About Mental Health? Nocturnal Panic Attacks: What are they & how to recover 10 Best Healthy Foods To Beat The Holiday Blues What Are The Struggles During Holidays & 5 Ways To Prevent It Holiday Depression: 13 Tips To Beat Holiday Blues I am feeling so “behind” in life