Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Hardwired at 94 BPM

Just wanted to give a heads up on a recent episode of Radiolab that I found really, really interesting: Speedy Beat.

In the episode they talk about music and BPM. It turns out tests have shown that our brains try to speed up slow music and slow down fast music.  The experiement went something like this.  They had people listen to a short sample of music at a certain BPM telling them to hit the next beat right after the sample stops.  If the BPM is slow they tend to hit that next beat just a bit too early.  If the BPM is fast the human taps the next beat a little bit too slow.  This made the researchers think that our brains are pushing towards a sort of perfect BPM.  So of course the most interesting result is the turnover point, the BPM where we finally get it just right.  Drum roll's 94.  That's my favourite SPM to run to.  And very close to the SPM that maximises running efficiency.  I don't think this is a coincidence, we are 'born to run' and our evolutionary advantage is endurance running. No wonder the SPM that maximises our efficiency is deeply hardwired in our brains.

Oh and sometimes I listen to spoken word stuff while running like Radiolab!

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