Feeling the Vibe? Physiological Synchrony, and Not Overt Social Signals Predicts Attraction in a Blind Date Setting


Whether two people will feel attracted to each other can be predicted from the moment they meet.

In a recent study led by Dr Eliska Prochazkova, researchers from the University of Leven measured the physiology (heart rate and skin conductance response), and observed the body language (eye contact, gaze direction, smiles, mimicry, etc.) between volunteers participating in a blind date experiment.

The research team discovered that overt social signals, such as smiles, laughter, eye gaze or the mimicry of those signals, did not significantly correlate with mutual attraction. Instead, attraction was predicted by synchrony in heart rate and skin conductance (physiological signals, which are covert, unconscious and difficult to regulate) between partners.

It appears that the effortless, subconsious synchronisation of physiological phases of arousal and relaxation (as encoded through heart rate and skin conductance levels) between two individuals, forms the basis of romantic attraction.

In a separate study, the same team showed that the physiological synchronisation (skin conductance levels) can also predict cooperative success among individuals in real-life interactions.

Prochazkova, E., Sjak-Shie, E., Behrens, F. et al. Physiological synchrony is associated with attraction in a blind date setting. Nat Hum Behav (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-021-01197-3

Behrens F., Snijdewint J.A., Moulder R.G., Prochazkova E., Sjak-Shie E.E., Boker S.M. & Kret M.E. (2020), Physiological synchrony is associated with cooperative success in real-life interactions, Scientific Reports 10(1): 1-9.

Exercise Effect on the Body Dependant on Circadian Clock


“Summary: Study reveals how the body produces different health-promoting signaling molecules in an organ-specific manner following exercise at different points during the day.

Source: Helmholtz

It is well established that exercise improves health, and recent research has shown that exercise benefits the body in different ways, depending on the time of day. However, scientists still do not know why the timing of exercise produces these different effects. To gain a better understanding, an international team of scientists recently carried out the most comprehensive study to date of exercise performed at different times of the day.”

The above excerpt is from the NeuroscienceNews.com. Access the full article here. Access the original journal article Atlas of exercise metabolism reveals time-dependent signatures of metabolic homeostasis published in Cell Metabolism can be found here.

Childhood Inflammation, Infection and Metabolic Changes May Increase Risk of Developing Depression and Psychosis later in Life


A growing body of research suggests that early-life infection, inflammation, and metabolic changes could contribute to psychiatric disorders—perhaps via effects during critical periods of brain development.

New evidence on how “immunometabolic” risk factors in childhood may affect the development of depression and psychotic disorders in adulthood is presented in the January/February special issue of Harvard Review of Psychiatry.

If confirmed, this line of research might lead to new approaches to treating depression and psychosis in adults—and possibly efforts to prevent these disorders by targeting early-life immunometabolic risk factors in childhood, according to the report by Nils Kappelmann, Ph.D., of Max-Planck-Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, and colleagues.

The study is one of seven special issue papers exploring possible links between inflammation and mental health disorders.”

The above excerpt is taken from the NeuroscienceNews.com and a link to the full article can be accessed here.

Happy Stories Synch Brain Activity More and Bring People Closer Than Sad Stories


Sharing stories bring people closer, and more so when these stories are happy. In a recent study, conducted in the Shanghai Key Laboratory of Mental Health and Psychological Crisis Intervention, participants listened to a story-teller sharing positive stories (triggering feelings of happinness) and negative stories (inducing feelings of sadness). Subsequently, participants showed better story recall, and indicated feeling closer to the story-teller when they had listened to a happy story. Interestingly, this subjective perception of closeness, following the shared happy stories, had objective electro-physiological correlates; the listeners’ EEG activity synchronised to a larger extent with the EEG activity of the story-teller while he was telling a happy story.

Original article: Sharing happy stories increases interpersonal closeness: Interpersonal brain synchronization as a neural indicatorEnhui Xie, Qing Yin, Keshuang Li, Samuel A. Nastase, Ruqian Zhang, Ning Wang, Xianchun LieNeuro 8 November 2021, ENEURO.0245-21.2021; DOI: 10.1523/ENEURO.0245-21.2021

Link to the original article here

Making Music Together – A Special Bond Facilitated by Our Social Brains


Making music together opens a unique route for inter-personal synchronisation that facilititates social bonding. This inter-personal synchronisation is enabled via the release of dopamine and oxytocine – hormones associated with reward and bonding, and via neural co-activation and synchronisation of brain networks implicated in social interaction, empathy and mentalising.

Link to the original, free access, article by David Greenberg, Jean Decety, and Ilanit Gordon can be found here

Background artwork: Bryan Christie Design Overlay design: Dr. David M. Greenberg. Article Source: Neuroscience News

David M. Greenberg Interdisciplinary Department of Social Sciences, Bar-Ilan University Department of Music, Bar-Ilan University Autism Research Centre, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge
Jean DecetyDepartment of Psychology, University of Chicago
Ilanit GordonDepartment of Psychology, Bar-Ilan University Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Sciences Center, Ramat Gan, Israel

Can You See the Image in Your Mind?


People can differ hugely in their ability to imagine the future, recall a past scene, or generally visualize anything that is not directly preceivable/not in front of them. Scientists from the university of Exeter discovered that this difference in visualisation ability has distinct neural correlates in the human brain; it correlates with the strength of the functional connectivity between individual’s prefrontal cortex and their visual areas.

This finding has implications for designing neurofeedback and non-invasive stimulation/neuromodulation protocols that could potentially enable people with aphantasia to visualise, via uptraining/strengthening the connectivity between frontal and occipital areas, and could help people with hyperphantasia stay ancored in a current reality by reducing the strength of their occipital -prefrontal connections.

Original article: Fraser Milton, Jon Fulford, Carla Dance, James Gaddum, Brittany Heuerman-Williamson, Kealan Jones, Kathryn F Knight, Matthew MacKisack, Crawford Winlove, Adam Zeman, Behavioral and Neural Signatures of Visual Imagery Vividness Extremes: Aphantasia versus Hyperphantasia, Cerebral Cortex Communications, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2021, tgab035, https://doi.org/10.1093/texcom/tgab035

Breakup-induced confusion about one’s self-identity helps explain the desire to get back together with an ex-partner


Romantic breakups can shake our sense of identity. After the dissolution of a relationship, people can feel as if a part of themselves has gone missing. New research published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships suggests that this experience is related to desires to rekindle a former relationship among anxiously attached individuals.

Source: PsyPost