Theatre Synchronizes Audiences Heartbeats

A small study conducted at the UCL Division of Psychological and Language Sciences showed that when a group of strangers watched a show together, their heart rates began responding in unison.

Dr. Joe Devlin, who led the study, provides some additional context to the results:

Usually, a group of individuals will each have their own heart rates and rhythms, with little relationship to each other. But romantic couples or highly effective teammates will actually synchronise their hearts so that they beat in time with each other, which in itself is astounding.

This suggests that theatre can do more than break down cultural barriers between us. It can temporarily reduce our physiological differences too.

A useful reminder that our biology and the world around us are inextricably linked.

Via the Guthrie's Artistic Director Joseph Haj


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