Do you have a fear of public speaking or getting up in front of a large crowd to perform? If so, you are far from alone.
This phenomenon, often regarded as “stage fright,” is exceptionally common. In fact, it is believed that up to seventy-five percent of the population is affected by it.
And even though you might think that professional singers would be immune to this phobia, many are still faced with the same anxiety symptoms before, during, and after each of their performances.
However, researchers at São Paulo University in Brazil recently conducted a study analyzing how a dose of oxytocin administered to professional singers before a public performance might help curb the nerves.
The human brain naturally produces oxytocin, a hormone, in the hypothalamus. This hormone is often regarded as the “love hormone” because it plays a critical role in social bonding and reproduction.
But, in recent years, neuroscientists have explored how additional oxytocin could help reduce psychosocial stress and anxiety while supporting important cognitive processes.
In turn, the São Paulo researchers sought to test this hypothesis on a professional singer subpopulation using a single dose of intranasal oxytocin.
Fifty-four male professional singers participated; half of the group received a placebo while the other half received oxytocin.
Then, the singers were asked to perform in an environment much like the typical concert environments they were used to.