Researchers from the Universities of Ghent and Leipzig and from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences have been investigating why music can make strenuous physical activities seem less exhausting. No one who brings their iPod along for a run will be surprised that listening to music can decrease the perception of exertion. What’s more controversial is that the scientists believe that there’s something specific about music that goes beyond merely being a distraction or motivator.
First author Tom Fritz of the Max Planck Institute shows how it's done.
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Fritz TH, Hardikar S, Demoucron M, Niessen M, Demey M, Giot O, Li Y, Haynes JD, Villringer A, & Leman M (2013). Musical agency reduces perceived exertion during strenuous physical performance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America PMID: 24127588.