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Interpersonal synchrony enhanced through 20 Hz phase-coupled dual brain stimulation

Novembre, G; Knoblich, G; Dunne, L; Keller, PE; (2017) Interpersonal synchrony enhanced through 20 Hz phase-coupled dual brain stimulation. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience , 12 (4) pp. 662-670. 10.1093/scan/nsw172. Green open access

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Abstract

Synchronous movement is a key component of social behaviour in several species including humans. Recent theories have suggested a link between interpersonal synchrony of brain oscillations and interpersonal movement synchrony. The present study investigated this link. Using transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) applied over the left motor cortex, we induced beta band (20 Hz) oscillations in pairs of individuals who both performed a finger-tapping task with the right hand. In-phase or anti-phase oscillations were delivered during a preparatory period prior to movement and while the tapping task was performed. In-phase 20 Hz stimulation enhanced interpersonal movement synchrony, compared to anti-phase or sham stimulation, particularly for the initial taps following the preparatory period. This was confirmed in an analysis comparing real vs. pseudo pair surrogate data. No enhancement was observed for stimulation frequencies of 2 Hz (matching the target movement frequency) or 10 Hz (alpha band). Thus, phase-coupling of beta band neural oscillations across two individuals' (resting) motor cortices supports the interpersonal alignment of sensorimotor processes that regulate rhythmic action initiation, thereby facilitating the establishment of synchronous movement. Phase-locked dual brain stimulation provides a promising method to study causal effects of interpersonal brain synchrony on social, sensorimotor and cognitive processes.

Type: Article
Title: Interpersonal synchrony enhanced through 20 Hz phase-coupled dual brain stimulation
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/scan/nsw172
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsw172
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Beta oscillations, brain-to-brain coupling, interpersonal synchronization, phase, social interaction
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Neuro, Physiology and Pharmacology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1538669
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