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Electrophysiological signatures of intentional social coordination in the 10–12 Hz range

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-09, 02:28 authored by Muhammad Naeem, Girijesh Prasad, David R Watson, J A Scott Kelso
This study sought to investigate the effects of manipulating social coordination on brain synchronization/ de-synchronization in the mu band. Mu activation is associated with understanding and coordinating motor acts and may play a key role in mediating social interaction. Members of a dyad were required to interact with one another in a rhythmic finger movement coordination task under various instructions: intrinsic where each member of the dyad was instructed to maintain their own and ignore their partner's movement; in-phase where they were asked to synchronize with their partner's movement; and anti-phase where they were instructed to syncopate with their partner's movement. EEG and movement data were recorded simultaneously from both subjects during all three tasks and a control condition. Log power ratios of EEG activity in the active conditions versus control were used to assess the effect of task context on synchronization/de-synchronization in the mu spectral domain. Results showed clear and systematic modulation of mu band activity in the 10–12 Hz range as a function of coordination context. In the left hemisphere general levels of alpha-mu suppression increased progressively as one moved from intrinsic through in-phase to anti-phase contexts but with no specific central–parietal focus. In contrast the right hemisphere displayed context-specific changes in the central– parietal region. The intrinsic condition showed a right synchronization which disappeared with the in-phase context even as de-synchronization remained greater in the left hemisphere. Anti-phase was associated with larger mu suppression in the right in comparison with left at central–parietal region. Such asymmetrical changes were highly correlated with changing behavioral dynamics. These specific patterns of activation and deactivation of muactivity suggest that localized neural circuitry in right central–parietal regionsmediates howindividuals interpret themovements of others in the context of their own actions. A right sided mechanism in the 10–12 Hz range appears to be involved in integrating the mutual information among the members of a dyad that enables the dynamics of social interaction to unfold in time.


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