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Many of us know that physical exercise is good not only for our bodies, but also for our ‘soul’. It can give us a unique psychological buzz, especially when we do it with others – just ask your nearest SoulCycle devotee or Tough Mudder initiate.

This buzz has long intrigued observers of human sociality. For more than a century, anthropologists have written about social bonding and community cohesion arising through what Émile Durkheim in 1912 called ‘collective effervescence’ – a euphoric unity generated when humans come together and move together, be it in religious ritual, music, dance or sport.

This same buzz appears to be a natural performance-enhancer. Tough workouts can seem that little bit easier with the support of a good friend. In competitive sports, teams that ‘click’ perform beyond the sum of their individual parts, often punching well above their weight.

Decades after anthropologists first presented their ideas about social motion and cohesion, experimental studies using tools from the cognitive and behavioural sciences have begun to explain that buzz and its effects. Combining insights from evolutionary theory, anthropology, psychology and biology, research suggests that coordinated group movement – what we call social motion – sets the stage for the changes in brain chemistry often associated with altered perceptions and beliefs. This altered state of consciousness impacts the sense of pain and fatigue that is so key to athletic performance, as well as the sense of self and others at the root of social bonding.

Social motion comes in many forms across cultures and contexts – exercise, dance, ritual, labour and play – but it is universally characterised by two components: coordinated movement and physical exertion.

Evidence suggests that synchronising movement with others leads to feelings of togetherness or ‘oneness’ – perhaps because the intentional act of coordinating with another person necessitates sharing mental states. To row a boat down the river, the individual ‘I’ must become the collective ‘we’.

Other research indicates that physical exertion can lead to the release of endorphins and endocannabinoids. These are our body’s natural morphine and cannabis, responsible for feelings of wellbeing during sustained bouts of exercise. Extremes of these psychological states are colloquially known as the ‘runner’s high’.

To test the mechanism and nature of the bonding that being social bestows, our team ran a series of experiments. In one, we manipulated the two core components of social motion – synchrony and physical exertion – in groups of rowers who were positioned side by side on rowing machines. We found that, regardless of synchrony, groups who rowed at the intensity ‘sweet spot’ for experiencing the positive buzz of exercise cooperated significantly more in a post-exercise economic game, compared with groups who exercised at a rate just under this threshold. Cooperation is an important marker of close relationships, indicative of more cohesive, bonded groups.

This result helps to explain why we often feel closer to friends after a night out dancing or a morning jog. In these activities, we share physical and mental states that are important for building and maintaining cooperative relationships.

​​​​​​​Which of the following is true regarding “Social Motion” as mentioned in the paragraph?

A
“Social Motion” is the key to altering the state of consciousness. Thereby, impacting, among many aspects, the ability to socialise and form meaningful bonds.
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B
“Social Motion” is the name given to the psychological buzz which is caused by group activities such as dancing or working out.
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C
“Social Motion” is important to experience advanced levels of spiritual realisations.
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D
“Social Motion” and “Growth of the soul” are the two sides of the same coin.
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Solution

The correct option is A “Social Motion” is the key to altering the state of consciousness. Thereby, impacting, among many aspects, the ability to socialise and form meaningful bonds.
Refer to the following lines of the 4th paragraph:

“…..what we call social motion – sets the stage for the changes in brain chemistry often associated with altered perceptions and beliefs. This altered state of consciousness impacts the sense of pain and fatigue that is so key to athletic performance, as well as the sense of self and others at the root of social bonding….”.

Clearly, option A fits the bill. Option B is wrong! Social motion is not the name given to the psychological buzz! ``Spiritual Realizations” in C is out of the context. Hence, option C can be eliminated as well. There is no correlation between “Social Motion” and “Growth of the Soul”, and hence, option D can be eliminated as well.

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Q. Many of us know that physical exercise is good not only for our bodies, but also for our ‘soul’. It can give us a unique psychological buzz, especially when we do it with others – just ask your nearest SoulCycle devotee or Tough Mudder initiate.

This buzz has long intrigued observers of human sociality. For more than a century, anthropologists have written about social bonding and community cohesion arising through what Émile Durkheim in 1912 called ‘collective effervescence’ – a euphoric unity generated when humans come together and move together, be it in religious ritual, music, dance or sport.

This same buzz appears to be a natural performance-enhancer. Tough workouts can seem that little bit easier with the support of a good friend. In competitive sports, teams that ‘click’ perform beyond the sum of their individual parts, often punching well above their weight.

Decades after anthropologists first presented their ideas about social motion and cohesion, experimental studies using tools from the cognitive and behavioural sciences have begun to explain that buzz and its effects. Combining insights from evolutionary theory, anthropology, psychology and biology, research suggests that coordinated group movement – what we call social motion – sets the stage for the changes in brain chemistry often associated with altered perceptions and beliefs. This altered state of consciousness impacts the sense of pain and fatigue that is so key to athletic performance, as well as the sense of self and others at the root of social bonding.

Social motion comes in many forms across cultures and contexts – exercise, dance, ritual, labour and play – but it is universally characterised by two components: coordinated movement and physical exertion.

Evidence suggests that synchronising movement with others leads to feelings of togetherness or ‘oneness’ – perhaps because the intentional act of coordinating with another person necessitates sharing mental states. To row a boat down the river, the individual ‘I’ must become the collective ‘we’.

Other research indicates that physical exertion can lead to the release of endorphins and endocannabinoids. These are our body’s natural morphine and cannabis, responsible for feelings of wellbeing during sustained bouts of exercise. Extremes of these psychological states are colloquially known as the ‘runner’s high’.

To test the mechanism and nature of the bonding that being social bestows, our team ran a series of experiments. In one, we manipulated the two core components of social motion – synchrony and physical exertion – in groups of rowers who were positioned side by side on rowing machines. We found that, regardless of synchrony, groups who rowed at the intensity ‘sweet spot’ for experiencing the positive buzz of exercise cooperated significantly more in a post-exercise economic game, compared with groups who exercised at a rate just under this threshold. Cooperation is an important marker of close relationships, indicative of more cohesive, bonded groups.

This result helps to explain why we often feel closer to friends after a night out dancing or a morning jog. In these activities, we share physical and mental states that are important for building and maintaining cooperative relationships.

​​​​​​​Which of the following is true regarding “Social Motion” as mentioned in the paragraph?
Q.

The idea of stuff expresses no more than the experience of coming to a limit at which our senses or our instruments are not fine enough to make out the pattern. Something of the same kind happens when the scientist investigates any unit or pattern so distinct to the naked eye that it has been considered a separate entity. He finds that the more carefully he observes and describes it, the more he is also describing the environment in which it moves and other patterns to which it seems inseparably related. As Teilhard de Chardin has so well expressed it, the isolation of individual, atomic patterns “is merely an intellectual dodge.”

Although the ancient cultures of Asia never attained the rigorously exact physical knowledge of the modern West, they grasped in principle many things which are only now occurring to us. Hinduism and Buddhism are impossible to classify as religions, philosophies, sciences, or even mythologies, or again as amalgamations of all four, because departmentalization is foreign to them even in so basic a form as the separation of the spiritual and the material.... Buddhism ... is not a culture but a critique of culture, an enduring non-violent revolution, or “loyal opposition,” to the culture with which it is involved. This gives these ways of liberation something in common with psychotherapy beyond the interest in changing states of consciousness. For the task of the psychotherapist is to bring about a reconciliation between individual feeling and social norms without, however, sacrificing the integrity of the individual. He tries to help the individual to be himself and to go it alone in the world (of social convention) but not of the world.

What does the passage suggest about the theme of the book from which it is excerpted?

Q. Which set of keywords given below most closely captures the arguments that the passage makes?

Someone’s probably told you before that something you thought, felt or feared was ‘all in your mind’. I’m here to tell you something else: there’s no such thing as the mind and nothing is mental. I call this the ‘no mind thesis’. The no-mind thesis is entirely compatible with the idea that people are conscious, and that they think, feel, believe, desire and so on. What it’s not compatible with is the notion that being conscious, thinking, feeling, believing, desiring and so on are mental, part of the mind, or done by the mind.

The no-mind thesis doesn’t mean that people are ‘merely bodies’. Instead, it means that, when faced with a whole person, we shouldn’t think that they can be divided into a ‘mind’ and a ‘body’, or that their properties can be neatly carved up between the ‘mental’ and the ‘non-mental’. It’s notable that Homeric Greek lacks terms that can be consistently translated as ‘mind’ and ‘body’. In Homer, we find a view of people as a coherent collection of communicating parts – ‘the spirit inside my breast drives me’; ‘my legs and arms are willing’. A similar view of human beings, as a big bundle of overlapping, intelligent systems in near-constant communication, is increasingly defended in cognitive science and biology.

The terms mind and mental are used in so many ways and have such a chequered history that they carry more baggage than meaning. Ideas of the mind and the mental are simultaneously ambiguous and misleading, especially in various important areas of science and medicine.

When people talk of ‘the mind’ and ‘the mental’, the no-mind thesis doesn’t deny that they’re talking about something – on the contrary, they’re often talking about too many things at once. Sometimes, when speaking of ‘the mind’, people really mean agency; other times, cognition; still others, consciousness; some uses of ‘mental’ really mean psychiatric; others psychological; others still immaterial; and yet others, something else.

This conceptual blurriness is fatal to the usefulness of the idea of ‘the mind’. To be fair, many concepts build bridges: they exhibit a specific, generally harmless kind of ambiguity called polysemy, with slightly different meanings in different contexts. The flexibility and elasticity of polysemy binds disparate areas of research and practice together, priming people to recognise their similarities and interrelatedness.
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