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      Inter-Brain Synchronization during Social Interaction

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          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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          Most cited references 49

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          Dynamic predictions: oscillations and synchrony in top-down processing.

          Classical theories of sensory processing view the brain as a passive, stimulus-driven device. By contrast, more recent approaches emphasize the constructive nature of perception, viewing it as an active and highly selective process. Indeed, there is ample evidence that the processing of stimuli is controlled by top-down influences that strongly shape the intrinsic dynamics of thalamocortical networks and constantly create predictions about forthcoming sensory events. We discuss recent experiments indicating that such predictions might be embodied in the temporal structure of both stimulus-evoked and ongoing activity, and that synchronous oscillations are particularly important in this process. Coherence among subthreshold membrane potential fluctuations could be exploited to express selective functional relationships during states of expectancy or attention, and these dynamic patterns could allow the grouping and selection of distributed neuronal responses for further processing.
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            Perception's shadow: long-distance synchronization of human brain activity.

            Transient periods of synchronization of oscillating neuronal discharges in the frequency range 30-80 Hz (gamma oscillations) have been proposed to act as an integrative mechanism that may bring a widely distributed set of neurons together into a coherent ensemble that underlies a cognitive act. Results of several experiments in animals provide support for this idea. In humans, gamma oscillations have been described both on the scalp (measured by electroencephalography and magnetoencephalography) and in intracortical recordings, but no direct participation of synchrony in a cognitive task has been demonstrated so far. Here we record electrical brain activity from subjects who are viewing ambiguous visual stimuli (perceived either as faces or as meaningless shapes). We show for the first time, to our knowledge, that only face perception induces a long-distance pattern of synchronization, corresponding to the moment of perception itself and to the ensuing motor response. A period of strong desynchronization marks the transition between the moment of perception and the motor response. We suggest that this desynchronization reflects a process of active uncoupling of the underlying neural ensembles that is necessary to proceed from one cognitive state to another.
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              Measuring phase synchrony in brain signals

              This article presents, for the first time, a practical method for the direct quantification of frequency‐specific synchronization (i.e., transient phase‐locking) between two neuroelectric signals. The motivation for its development is to be able to examine the role of neural synchronies as a putative mechanism for long‐range neural integration during cognitive tasks. The method, called phase‐locking statistics (PLS), measures the significance of the phase covariance between two signals with a reasonable time‐resolution (<100 ms). Unlike the more traditional method of spectral coherence, PLS separates the phase and amplitude components and can be directly interpreted in the framework of neural integration. To validate synchrony values against background fluctuations, PLS uses surrogate data and thus makes no a priori assumptions on the nature of the experimental data. We also apply PLS to investigate intracortical recordings from an epileptic patient performing a visual discrimination task. We find large‐scale synchronies in the gamma band (45 Hz), e.g., between hippocampus and frontal gyrus, and local synchronies, within a limbic region, a few cm apart. We argue that whereas long‐scale effects do reflect cognitive processing, short‐scale synchronies are likely to be due to volume conduction. We discuss ways to separate such conduction effects from true signal synchrony. Hum Brain Mapping 8:194–208, 1999. © 1999 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                17 August 2010
                : 5
                : 8
                [1 ]Université Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris 6, Centre de Recherche de l'Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière, UMR-S975, Paris, France
                [2 ]Inserm, U975, Paris, France
                [3 ]CNRS, UMR 7225, Paris, France
                [4 ]CNRS, USR 3246, Centre émotion, Pavillon Clérambault, Hôpital de La Salpêtrière, Paris, France
                [5 ]Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l'Alimentation, UMR-6265 CNRS, 1324 INRA, U-B, Dijon, France
                Kyushu University, Japan
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: GD JN RS JM LG. Performed the experiments: GD JN JM LG. Analyzed the data: GD RS JM. Wrote the paper: GD JN RS JM LG.

                Dumas et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Page count
                Pages: 10
                Research Article
                Neuroscience/Behavioral Neuroscience
                Neuroscience/Cognitive Neuroscience
                Neuroscience/Motor Systems
                Neuroscience/Sensory Systems



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