1.pngReach for the hand of a loved one in pain and not only will your breathing and heart rate synchronize with theirs, your brain wave patterns will couple up too, according to a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).上周发表在美国《国家科学院学报》月刊上的一项研究结果说,与处于痛苦之中的爱人牵手,不仅让你们的呼吸和心率同步,连你们的脑波模式也会耦联起来。The study, by researchers with the University of Colorado Boulder and University of Haifa, also found that the more empathy a comforting partner feels for a partner in pain, the more their brainwaves fall into sync. And the more those brain waves sync, the more the pain goes away.美国科罗拉多大学博尔德分校和以色列海法大学的研究人员开展的这项研究发现,实施安抚的伙伴对处于痛苦之中的对方越感同身受,他们的脑波就越同步。而他们的脑波越同步,痛苦者疼痛减轻的幅度就越大。"We have developed a lot of ways to communicate in the modern world and we have fewer physical interactions," said lead author Pavel Goldstein, a postdoctoral pain researcher in the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab at CU Boulder. "This paper illustrates the power and importance of human touch."研究报告的首席作者、科罗拉多大学博尔德分校博士后研究人员帕维尔.戈德斯坦说:“现代世界中,我们发展了许多种沟通方式,身体互动却少了。”The study is the latest in a growing body of research exploring a phenomenon known as "interpersonal synchronization," in which people physiologically mirror the people they are with. It is the first to look at brain wave synchronization in the context of pain, and offers new insight into the role brain-to-brain coupling may play in touch-induced analgesia, or healing touch.这是最新的针对“人际间同步”现象的研究。在这一现象中,人们在生理上与陪伴者保持一致。这项研究首次研究了疼痛情况下的脑波同步,并为揭示脑对脑偶联可能在触觉引发的镇痛或治疗性触摸中发挥的作用提供了新见解。Goldstein came up with the experiment after, during the delivery of his daughter, he discovered that when he held his wife’s hand, it eased her pain.在妻子分娩时,戈德斯坦发现握着她的手能减轻其疼痛。随后,他想到做这项实验。"I wanted to test it out in the lab: Can one really decrease pain with touch, and if so, how?"“我想要在实验室中验证触摸的确能减轻疼痛吗?如果是这样,怎么去解释。”He and his colleagues at University of Haifa recruited 22 heterosexual couples, age 23 to 32 who had been together for at least one year and put them through several two-minute scenarios as electroencephalography (EEG) caps measured their brainwave activity. The scenarios included sitting together not touching; sitting together holding hands; and sitting in separate rooms. Then they repeated the scenarios as the woman was subjected to mild heat pain on her arm.戈德斯坦及海法大学研究者招募了22对年龄在23至32岁、相伴至少一年的异性伴侣,让他们经历几个场景,每个场景历时两分钟,同时用脑电图描记仪测量他们的脑波活动。这些场景包括坐在一起,但不触碰;手拉手坐在一起;分别坐在不同的房间里。然后在女方胳膊遭受轻度热痛的情况下,让这些伴侣再次经历这些场景。Merely being in each other’s presence, with or without touch, was associated with some brain wave synchronicity in the alpha mu band, a wavelength associated with focused attention. If they held hands while she was in pain, the coupling increased the most.只要伴侣在场,不管有没有接触,与注意力相关的频带就显示出某种脑波同步性。如果在女方疼痛时两人手拉手,这种耦联增幅就最大。Researchers also found that when she was in pain and he couldn’t touch her, the coupling of their brain waves diminished.研究人员还发现,当女方疼痛但男方不能触碰时,他们脑波耦联就消失了。This matched the findings from a previously published paper from the same experiment which found that heart rate and respiratory synchronization disappeared when the male study participant couldn’t hold her hand to ease her pain.这与之前发表的一篇论文的研究结果相吻合,该实验发现,当男性参与者无法握住她的手来缓解她的疼痛时,心率和呼吸同步消失了。"It appears that pain totally interrupts this interpersonal synchronization between couples and touch brings it back," says Goldstein.戈德斯坦说:“疼痛似乎完全打断了夫妻之间的这种人际同步,而身体接触又把它带回来了。”Subsequent tests of the male partner’s level of empathy revealed that the more empathetic he was to her pain the more their brain activity synced. The more synchronized their brains, the more her pain subsided.对男方共情水平的后续测试结果显示,男方对女方的疼痛越感同身受,他们的脑活动越同步。双方大脑越同步,女方痛苦消退得越多。How exactly could coupling of brain activity with an empathetic partner kill pain?与共情伴侣的脑活动耦联究竟如何能消除疼痛呢?More studies are needed to find out, stressed Goldstein. But he and his co-authors offer a few possible explanations. Empathetic touch can make a person feel understood, which in turn -- according to previous studies -- could activate pain-killing reward mechanisms in the brain.戈德斯坦强调,需要进行更多的研究才能找到答案。但他和他的合著者提供了几个可能的解释。比如共情触碰会让人觉得被理解,进而——根据此前的一些研究结果——可以激发脑中的止痛奖励机制。