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Shankar Vedantam. What are the health implications of dancing? New social science research shows that dancing in synchrony with others increases people's threshold for dealing with pain.
Now Wait - Various - Dance Floor Sensations have news of a surprising benefit of dancing. Shankar, are you? They brought volunteers into a lab and taught them different dance moves. They then placed the volunteers in groups of four on the dance floor and put headphones on them so they could hear music.
Some of them were taught the same dance moves, and others were taught different dance moves. Before and after the volunteers danced to music, the researchers measured their pain threshold by squeezing their arms That's exactly right.
And what the researchers found is there were huge differences in pain perception before and after the volunteers danced together. And others who are dancing completely by themselves, even though other people may be right there in the room.
So when the volunteers were taught the same dance moves and heard the Wait - Various - Dance Floor Sensations songs as the others, their movements synchronized on the dance floor. Now, afterwards, these volunteers were able to withstand significantly more pain.
Their threshold for pain increased. By contrast, the volunteers who heard different songs Wait - Various - Dance Floor Sensations were taught different dance moves to the same music didn't synchronize their movements. These volunteers experienced either no change in their pain perception Chains Of Love - Erasure - The Erasure Show Tour 2005 - Live At Newcastle, City Hall, 3rd March 2005 an increase in their pain perception.
They actually felt more pain than they did before. When experiences feel メモリー・スルー(追想) - Rajie - Acoustic Moon, that's usually a signal that they have served some kind of evolutionary purpose.
So the brain evolved to find certain kinds of food tasty because it eating those foods had survival value for our ancestors. As a social species, being part of a group has survival value. Evolution also may have adapted the brain to experience a sense of reward when we did things with and for other people.
Dancing together, especially in the synchrony, can signal that you are actually simpatico with lots of other people. The researchers think this is why so many cultures have synchronized dancing and why it might have health benefits.
But doing it with other people I feel good. It overrides any sensations happened I might have that are bad. So the volunteers had headphones. And so they were listening to songs without knowing what songs others were listening to. It's only when they were listening to same song and dancing in the same way and they watched other people doing that that the health benefits kicked in. NPR's Shankar Vedantam, our social science correspondent and host of the new podcast that explores the unseen patterns in human behavior, Hidden Brain.
Accuracy and availability may vary. Accessibility links Skip to main content Keyboard shortcuts for audio player. Don't Tell Me! NPR Shop. Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email. May 3, AM ET. Heard on Morning Edition. What is this research? With a blood pressure cuff.
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