(TargetLiberty.org) – We all know that our heartbeats aren’t consistent. The rhythm slows when we’re relaxed, and races when we’re working out or laboring hard. But if someone is just sitting in a chair, reading or listening to a story, won’t their heart keep ticking away at a steady pace?
People's Heartbeats Synchronize When They're Captivated by The Same Storyhttps://t.co/rXHJF6dqXk
— ScienceAlert (@ScienceAlert) September 15, 2021
New research suggests that it won’t. In a preliminary study, Researchers at the Paris Brain Institute tested volunteers while they listened to either instructional videos or an action-packed extract from 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. They found that the volunteers’ heart rates changed as they listened – and that every volunteer’s heart rate changed in the same way. Even if two people were listening to the same story miles apart, their heartbeats stayed synchronized.
Researcher Lucas Parra believes that our heart rate is affected because we need to be able to react to our environments, and if something is happening – even if it’s only in a story – we respond to that by increasing our heart rates. That delivers more oxygen to our muscles, preparing us to react. The fact that volunteers in separate locations reacted the same way suggests that emotions aren’t having the effect. It’s being engaged with the story and trying to anticipate what’s going to happen next.
It turns out that a good narrative links us together in some really strange ways.
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