The Loh Down On Science

Couples' bodies are in sync

Can two hearts really beat as one?  Researchers say . . . yes!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.  

Lovers may not only be in synch emotionally.  They may also be in synch physiologically.  So says psychologist Emilio Ferrer from the University of California at Davis.

He and colleagues monitored the heart rates and respiration of thirty-two heterosexual couples as they sat a few feet apart.  The couples did not speak or touch.  Rather, they engaged in a series of exercises, such as mimicking each other’s movements.

By the time they'd completed the exercises, the couples' heart rates were in synch.  They'd also begun breathing in and out at the same intervals.

But . . . when the couples were rearranged into platonic pairs and asked to perform the same exercises, their heart rates didn’t synch up.  Nor did their breathing.  

What did a closer analysis of the synching reveal?  That it was the women who wound up adjusting more to their partners.

Yeah?  We didn’t need science to tell us that.

 

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The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, with 89.3 KPCC Pasadena, California. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

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