Inter-brain synchronization during a cooperative task

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Inter-brain synchronization during a cooperative task reflects the sense of joint agency.

Abstract
People feel the sense of ‘joint agency’, which is the sense that ‘we’ did it, during a mutually cooperative action. Previous studies have reported that the inter-brain synchronization occurs during a mutually cooperative action, nevertheless the neural correlates of the sense of joint agency remains unclear. Here, we investigated whether the sense of joint agency reflects the inter-brain synchronization during a joint action. The pairs of participants engaged in constant rhythm tapping tasks with alternative (turn-taking) or sequential (non-turn-taking) coordination. Electroencephalograms (EEG) of the participant pair during the tasks were simultaneously measured (hyperscanned), and the participants were subsequently asked to rate the sense of joint agency. The results showed that the participants felt strong sense of joint agency in the turn-taking cooperative actions, but not in the non-turn-taking actions. Moreover, EEG theta (4-7 Hz) oscillations were more synchronized between the frontal region in the leader, who tapped the first, and the right temporo-parietal region in the follower, who tapped following the leader, during the turn-taking cooperative actions than during the non-turn-taking cooperative actions. Furthermore, the degree of inter-brain synchronization was significantly correlated with the sense of joint agency, as well as the temporal accuracy of the tapping actions of the pair. These results indicate that the sense of joint agency strongly reflects the inter-brain synchronization, which depends on the quality of mutual cooperation during a joint action.

PMID: 33548249 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Neuropsychologia. 2021 Feb 03;:107770

Authors: Shiraishi M, Shimada S

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