Cohen, E. E. A., Ejsmond-Frey, R., Knight, N. & Dunbar, R. I. M. (2010). Rowers’ high:

behavioural synchrony is correlated with elevated pain thresholds. Biology Letters, 6,


Discuss the role of endorphins and coordinated physical exercise in social bonding.

Describe the testing procedure used in this study? What question were the authors’ trying to address and what results did they obtain?

What are the possible features of group coordinated activity that affect pain threshold and mood? What explanation is most favored by this study’s authors?

What implications does this have for human ritual behavior, human evolution, and the Fairchild survivors?

Explain why competitive rowing is an ideal activity to examine synchronous physical exercise.

How did the authors measure endorphin uptake and why did they chose this method?

Describe the variables the authors were able to control for and their reasoning for ruling them out as alternative explanations for the effects.

Describe the chemical explanation for the social bonding (and analgesic) effect caused by synchronous activity.

What parts of the brain are activated during physical activity and what do the functions of these areas tell us about the role that physical activity plays in social bonding (and analgesia)?