People can unconsciously synchronize some of their most vital bodily functions , such as their heartbeat, when they hear the same story or when they enjoy the same performance.
Of course, they have to be completely involved and pay attention to the actions of the story they hear or the event in which they participate, and in that way some of their physiological functions will end up synchronizing and the heart will end up responding in a similar way to the signals of the brain.
An international team of scientists has published this Tuesday in the journal Cell Reports the results of their work, in which they verified, in one of the experiments, how a group of healthy volunteers ended up synchronizing their heartbeats while listening to the work Twenty thousand in an audiobook. Leagues under the sea of Jules Verne.
Their frequency ended up synchronizing when listening to the story of the adventures, but also when they listened to brief instructional videos or children’s stories in unison, as the researchers have described in the scientific journal.
Researcher Lucas Parra, a specialist in biomedical engineering and machine learning and a professor at the City College of New York, has observed in that publication that there is a lot of literature that shows that people synchronize physiological functions when they are interacting and they are in the same place, but has assured that what they have discovered now is “much broader”.
The heart “listens” to the brain
Parra has observed that experiments have shown that following the same story and processing the same stimuli ends up causing similar fluctuations in people’s heart rates, and that it is cognitive function that drives that heart rate up or down.
The researcher Jacobo Sitt, from the Institute of Psychiatry and Neuroscience in Paris, has specified that the most important thing is that the listener is paying attention to the actions that take place in history; “It’s not about emotions, it’s about being engaged and mindful and thinking about what’s going to happen next, and the heart responds to those signals from the brain .”
The electrocardiograms placed on the volunteers showed increases and decreases in the heart rate of the volunteers who listened to the work of Jules Verne at the same points in the narrative, or who barely registered fluctuations when they listened to short instructional videos, devoid of emotional variations.
During the different experiments they conducted, the researchers observed that the same synchronization in heart rate did not occur, which was “surprising” to them since respiratory rate and heart rate are closely related.
Researchers have stressed that these are still very preliminary studies , but they have observed that these are easy diagnostic tests to perform and that they could be implemented to quickly measure brain function, since they do not require sophisticated equipment and could even be done in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.
They have also underlined the importance of these experiments and the preliminary conclusions they have obtained in understanding mindfulness and observing the connection between the brain and the body .