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Biol Lett. 2015 Oct;11(10). pii: 20150767. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2015.0767.

Synchrony and exertion during dance independently raise pain threshold and encourage social bonding.

Author information

1
Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3UD, UK bronwyntarr01@gmail.com.
2
Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3UD, UK.
3
School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford, 51/53 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6PE, UK Wadham College, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PN, UK.

Abstract

Group dancing is a ubiquitous human activity that involves exertive synchronized movement to music. It is hypothesized to play a role in social bonding, potentially via the release of endorphins, which are analgesic and reward-inducing, and have been implicated in primate social bonding. We used a 2 × 2 experimental design to examine effects of exertion and synchrony on bonding. Both demonstrated significant independent positive effects on pain threshold (a proxy for endorphin activation) and in-group bonding. This suggests that dance which involves both exertive and synchronized movement may be an effective group bonding activity.

KEYWORDS:

dance; endorphins; self–other merging; social bonding; synchrony

PMID:
26510676
PMCID:
PMC4650190
DOI:
10.1098/rsbl.2015.0767
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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