Hyperscanning Experiments with fNIRS

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Conducting Hyperscanning Experiments with Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy.

J Vis Exp. 2019 Jan 19;(143):

Authors: Reindl V, Konrad K, Gerloff C, Kruppa JA, Bell L, Scharke W

Abstract
Concurrent brain recordings of two or more interacting persons, an approach termed hyperscanning, are gaining increasing importance for our understanding of the neurobiological underpinnings of social interactions, and possibly interpersonal relationships. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is well suited for conducting hyperscanning experiments because it measures local hemodynamic effects with a high sampling rate and, importantly, it can be applied in natural settings, not requiring strict motion restrictions. In this article, we present a protocol for conducting fNIRS hyperscanning experiments with parent-child dyads and for analyzing brain-to-brain synchrony. Furthermore, we discuss critical issues and future directions, regarding the experimental design, spatial registration of the fNIRS channels, physiological influences and data analysis methods. The described protocol is not specific to parent-child dyads, but can be applied to a variety of different dyadic constellations, such as adult strangers, romantic partners or siblings. To conclude, fNIRS hyperscanning has the potential to yield new insights into the dynamics of the ongoing social interaction, which possibly go beyond what can be studied by examining the activities of individual brains.

PMID: 30735168 [PubMed – in process]

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