Scientists revealed that no matter where the party is at, getting into the groove is synonymous with turning up the low frequency bass. According to a new report in the Current Biology journal, very low frequency (VLF) sounds make party-goers dance 11.8% more – even though they can’t hear them.
When scientists introduced bass-driven sounds at a live electronic event and monitored the crowd’s movements, they found that the low-pitched infrasound led to more movement on the dance floor.
Forty-three attendees wore motion-capture headbands while the researchers turned on and off the VLF speakers every two and a half minutes. Scientists observed that party-goers moved more vigorously when low-frequency sounds were present.
In the journal, neuroscientist Dr. Daniel Cameron said it wasn’t a placebo effect, as the correlation between moving more and lower bass “isn’t something that comes from our conscious awareness.”
“We’d lose all ecological validity if we just cranked the speakers, they become bone-rattling and everyone can tell ‘oh something different is really happening here. We didn’t want them to be aware of what we’re doing.”
At the end of the gig, the attendees affirmed they experienced bodily sensations associated with the music. Still, those feelings were not rated as more substantial compared to music events where low bass frequencies aren’t used.
The aurally-undetectable bass is too long for human ears to pick up and it is most present in the natural world, such as whale songs.