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How our heartbeat shapes our thinking [video] (bbc.com)
116 points by somberi on Apr 25, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 30 comments

I listen to french house or chilled out trance when I'm writing code. I didn't read the article, but I definitely notice that rhythmic lock-in that comes with doing that.

My guys give me shit about it sometimes because I guess I like to rock my shoulders to the music, I don't ever notice it but they call it "catjamming".

Rhythm is a constant in all organic life, I think it plays a very strong role in all of our psychology. I've psyched myself out in chess games by making two fast moves in a row, my whole mental atmosphere blows up and all the shapes and patterns melt into noise and craziness.

At least a zillion times I've been working on some troublesome code and my phone goes and instantly just disconnected from that thought.

Sometimes DJ's throw in abrupt breaks or adlibs, that irks me.

It's all rhythmic, it's just that not all rhythms are measured in simple beats. I have rhythms through the seasons, through a quarter, through a week of inspections or audits, I have a rhythm for when stress in general.

Idk what I'm talking about. I'll read the article now.

Would love some recommendations of things I can find on Youtube. I listen to Youtube Red often while working. Anything I can get there would be great. Thanks!

This has been picking up steam:


Had this in a tab already, closed it to open your link. :|

Great, thank you.

Here is a good mix of you're looking for an intro to French house. It's a lot of old French classics.


Some search terms also might be "future funk", "nu disco", "funky house/ disco house" etc. These are different spins on the genre.

I particularly like those 24/7 YouTube radio stations because they usually just Crossfade between songs with minimal nonsense.

Idk much about trance, I usually type something like "study trance mix" and just pick one.

Progressive house also might fit your bill if you want more best to your sound but less vocals.

Sorry if this isn't helpful. I don't have a big playlist to share with you, I'm not nearly that organized!

No, that's really helpful, thank you. I don't know much about the different genres so having someone point me in any direction is good. Much appreciated.

Not dub, more rhythmic ambient. You can watch them as they twist the knobs too...



A nice 8 hour mix with no odd breaks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk26FUe38y0

I noticed many years ago, that the beats-per-minute (BPM) and music intensity (Classic/Thrash) affect my heartbeat/rate and therefore my mood.

Since then, I listen to classic music when I drive, soft piano jazz when I work, and Sepultura before doing sports.

There are plenty of studies/articles that have discussed how music affects heart-rate (and therefore mood). Below you can find two I found worthy of reading.

[1]: http://spot.colorado.edu/~basey/jthorne.html

[2]: https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/using-musi...

I find this comment very interesting -- am I understanding correctly that you find it easier to notice your heartbeat change than to notice your mood change?

With effort I can barely detect non-drastic changes to my heartbeat -- I am much more readily aware of changes to my mood.

I hate when news organizations don’t offer a text version of a story. Video and audio segements are soooo slowwwwwzzzzzz.

For noisy sites like BBC, I routinely hit reader view.

And this story made no sense. Huge non sequiturs.

But then. of course. The text is just commentary on the video.

I use Adblock+ (v2.9.1) and "Element Hiding Helper for Adblock Plus" (v.1.4)

For the sites I visit frequently, I use the "element hiding.." to block columns/rows, basically stripping the 'noise'. So everytime I click on an article, I have already hidden the 'promoting' boxes/sections/columns.

Edit: adding the links to Firefox addons I use

[1]: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/downloads/file/660890/adb...

[2]: https://adblockplus.org/en/elemhidehelper

I’ve got premature ventricular contractions which basically means that every once in a while, my heart goes early and then there’s a longer pause.

Being aware of my heart beats basically gave me panic attacks which makes the pvcs worse, which makes my anxiety worse and so on.

I had to work at not noticing my heartbeat, per my cardiologists advice.

I have the same issue. My favorite part is the sleepless nights: PVC -> anxiety about PVC -> can't sleep -> extra anxiety about missing sleep -> panic attack.

Anecdotally, daily calcium and magnesium supplements seem to reduce the frequency.

I have the same issues. Combined with that I'm hypothyroid, which can then compound the PVC symptoms when my dosage of thyroxine is off.

I'm sitting here reading this article thinking "My gods, I wouldn't wish this on anyone, forget about your heartbeat before it drags you into panic attacks!"

30 minutes on a treadmill stops them for me. Even while they’re really bad, force yourself to do it (only if they are really pvcs and not afib).

Potassium can also help. Sadly, caffeine is a major contributor to PVCs for me and I miss it.

curious how breath control may/may not fit into this..

if one is mentally focusing strictly on the heartrate without thinking of breath/thought control, I don't see it working out too well..

some research from Sarah N. Garfinkel

* "Fear from the Heart: Sensitivity to Fear Stimuli Depends on Individual Heartbeats" ( 2014) http://www.jneurosci.org/content/34/19/6573.full

see more: https://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=S.+N.+Garfinkel+heart+e...


or article from psychologytoday:

"Listen To Your Heart : How Interoception Shapes Emotional Experiences." (2016) https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mind-growth/201609/l...


"The science inside our hearts and minds | Dr Sarah Garfinkel | TEDxBrighton" (2018 ) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hI_gG49sV2s

I see a lot of discussion here regarding the influence of listening to music but I am also curious about the influence of rhythmic training. This year I added rhythmic training as a warm up to all of my piano students lessons. I've been using an old staple 'Stick Control' (link below) to train the most basic LH/RH coordination and beat perception and have been amazed at the improvement across the board including myself since I work on this with them. I would compare the improved LH/RH coordination with improved conceptualization of a beat to a rising tide that lifts the ships of the beginner, the prodigy, the professional and the senior citizen student.


Stick Control is basically fine motor coordination and a bit of limb independence exercises, even if you are not a drummer, practicing stick control will improve your "handling" in any instrument. Or even in unexpected things, for example, while driving, I find heel-toeing very easy and natural (brake with right foot toe, press the clutch with left foot, change gear with right hand while steering with the left hand, rev-match with the right foot heel, let go of the clutch) probably because I've played the drums for almost 22 years now.

In the same note, as a fellow drummer, I can say that drummers that study melodic instruments tend to play their instruments serving the music way better. Piano is probably my second preferred instrument, I've always wanted to learn it, if you can guide to some starting material or equipment, I'd be happy to hear!

The only thing I'll add to this is the benefit of working with a metronome. With 88 keys and 10 fingers there is a lot pianists can get distracted by but when you strip it down to RH/LH eighth notes starting at 30 bpm you can really focus on generating a time feel!

A guide you say?! Funny you mention it this is what I've cobbled together for my students over the years. It's about time for me to give it another pass to further refine it but it is a reliable path towards basic keyboard proficiency. Let me know what you think.


Nice! I'll take a look at it!


My therapy involves periods of getting in touch with my body, e.g. tension in my forehead or tightness in my chest, and then as I focus and try to be present with the sensations, words tend to pop into my mind that often yield insights into suppressed feelings and ideas. There's a book that nicely presents the therapy technique named body centered psychotherapy by Ron Kurtz.

I wonder if focusing on ones heartbeat employs the same underlying mechanisms that help self-insights happen.

In Buddhist insight meditation, the first of the four foundations of mindfulness is "mindfulness of the body".

I was both happy but not surprised to see autism pop up in relation to this. I was recently diagnosed and a key part of it is over-sensitivity and misinterpretation of bodily sensations.

I've always been 'overly' aware of my heartbeat and it has caused me distress, but since wearing a Fitbit 24/7 and being able to see that, no, it's not off the scale, things have improved. I guess that's a sort of very lightweight, passive version of what's going on in this research. Beta blockers have also proven to be very efficacious as a way of breaking out of cycles of worry/response.

In re: the heart and introspection, I'd like to describe a phenomenon I've encountered during structured meditation / self-hypnosis. Please be advised that this may be dangerous. If you experiment with this please be careful.

Normally, your nervous system adjusts subjective perception to attenuate the sensations of your heart beating (also breathing.) With training and practice it is possible to become consciously aware of the physical fact of the hydrodynamic pulsations that are, have been, and will be a constant feature of your human life. The simplest foot-in-the-door thing to do is to feel your pulse (i.e. put your fingers of one hand on the right spot on the wrist of your other hand) as you enter a hypnotic trance.

The specific phenomenon I want to mention is that, as my consciousness became more and more fully aware of the pulse throughout my body I got closer and closer to "touching my heart with my mind" (I don't know how else to describe it.) The heart and circulatory system experienced from within is an incredible potent living energy flow. It was so deep and intense that I never fully merged with it, instead getting "jerked awake" like when you're dreaming and you start to fall and suddenly wake up instead.

If you experiment please be careful, and whatever you do don't force it: who can say if you might not give yourself some sort of cardiac arrest by wiring up the information flows in your nervous system the wrong way?

I think it's worth pointing out in this connection that Gurdjieff described hypnosis as being caused by a change in the usual pressure of blood flow.

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