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Biol Lett. 2010 Feb 23;6(1):106-8. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2009.0670. Epub 2009 Sep 15.

Rowers' high: behavioural synchrony is correlated with elevated pain thresholds.

Author information

1
Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Oxford, , 64 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6PN, UK. emma.cohen@anthro.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

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.

PMID:
19755532
PMCID:
PMC2817271
DOI:
10.1098/rsbl.2009.0670
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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