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      Hyperscanning: A Valid Method to Study Neural Inter-brain Underpinnings of Social Interaction

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          Abstract

          Social interactions are a crucial part of human life. Understanding the neural underpinnings of social interactions is a challenging task that the hyperscanning method has been trying to tackle over the last two decades. Here, we review the existing literature and evaluate the current state of the hyperscanning method. We review the type of methods (fMRI, M/EEG, and fNIRS) that are used to measure brain activity from more than one participant simultaneously and weigh their pros and cons for hyperscanning. Further, we discuss different types of analyses that are used to estimate brain networks and synchronization. Lastly, we present results of hyperscanning studies in the context of different cognitive functions and their relations to social interactions. All in all, we aim to comprehensively present methods, analyses, and results from the last 20 years of hyperscanning research.

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          Most cited references 89

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          Does rejection hurt? An FMRI study of social exclusion.

          A neuroimaging study examined the neural correlates of social exclusion and tested the hypothesis that the brain bases of social pain are similar to those of physical pain. Participants were scanned while playing a virtual ball-tossing game in which they were ultimately excluded. Paralleling results from physical pain studies, the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) was more active during exclusion than during inclusion and correlated positively with self-reported distress. Right ventral prefrontal cortex (RVPFC) was active during exclusion and correlated negatively with self-reported distress. ACC changes mediated the RVPFC-distress correlation, suggesting that RVPFC regulates the distress of social exclusion by disrupting ACC activity.
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            Inter-Brain Synchronization during Social Interaction

            During social interaction, both participants are continuously active, each modifying their own actions in response to the continuously changing actions of the partner. This continuous mutual adaptation results in interactional synchrony to which both members contribute. Freely exchanging the role of imitator and model is a well-framed example of interactional synchrony resulting from a mutual behavioral negotiation. How the participants' brain activity underlies this process is currently a question that hyperscanning recordings allow us to explore. In particular, it remains largely unknown to what extent oscillatory synchronization could emerge between two brains during social interaction. To explore this issue, 18 participants paired as 9 dyads were recorded with dual-video and dual-EEG setups while they were engaged in spontaneous imitation of hand movements. We measured interactional synchrony and the turn-taking between model and imitator. We discovered by the use of nonlinear techniques that states of interactional synchrony correlate with the emergence of an interbrain synchronizing network in the alpha-mu band between the right centroparietal regions. These regions have been suggested to play a pivotal role in social interaction. Here, they acted symmetrically as key functional hubs in the interindividual brainweb. Additionally, neural synchronization became asymmetrical in the higher frequency bands possibly reflecting a top-down modulation of the roles of model and imitator in the ongoing interaction.
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              Brain-to-brain coupling: a mechanism for creating and sharing a social world.

              Cognition materializes in an interpersonal space. The emergence of complex behaviors requires the coordination of actions among individuals according to a shared set of rules. Despite the central role of other individuals in shaping one's mind, most cognitive studies focus on processes that occur within a single individual. We call for a shift from a single-brain to a multi-brain frame of reference. We argue that in many cases the neural processes in one brain are coupled to the neural processes in another brain via the transmission of a signal through the environment. Brain-to-brain coupling constrains and shapes the actions of each individual in a social network, leading to complex joint behaviors that could not have emerged in isolation. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Front Hum Neurosci
                Front Hum Neurosci
                Front. Hum. Neurosci.
                Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                1662-5161
                28 February 2020
                2020
                : 14
                Affiliations
                1Institute of Cognitive Science, Universität Osnabrück , Osnabrück, Germany
                2Institut für Neurophysiologie und Pathophysiologie, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf , Hamburg, Germany
                Author notes

                Edited by: Zhen Yuan, University of Macau, China

                Reviewed by: Joy Hirsch, Yale University, United States; Tong Boon Tang, University of Technology Petronas, Malaysia

                *Correspondence: Artur Czeszumski aczeszumski@ 123456uos.de

                This article was submitted to Brain Imaging and Stimulation, a section of the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

                Article
                10.3389/fnhum.2020.00039
                7059252
                Copyright © 2020 Czeszumski, Eustergerling, Lang, Menrath, Gerstenberger, Schuberth, Schreiber, Rendon and König.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 125, Pages: 17, Words: 15609
                Categories
                Human Neuroscience
                Review

                Neurosciences

                hyperscanning, social cognition, joint action, eeg, meg, fmri, fnirs, social interactions

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