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Abstract

Purpose: Human life is connoted by sophisticated interactions that involve not only single individuals, but larger social groups composed by members interacting each other. Cooperation secures a benefit to all the people engaged as well as important behaviors like helping, sharing, and acting prosocially. But what happens when the joint actions are not effective? Materials and method: In the present study, we asked 24 participants paired in 12 dyads to cooperate during an attentional task in a way to synchronize their responses and obtain better outcomes. In addition we tested inter-brain and cognitive strategy similarities between subjects. Then, we frustrated their strategies by providing false feedbacks signalling the incapacity to create a synergy, which was reinforced by a general negative evaluation halfway through the task. The effects of the feedback inmodulating subjects behavioural performance and brain responsiveness were explored by means of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Results: Results showed a worsen performance after the negative feedback in the form of longer reaction times and a specifc pattern of brain activation involving th dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the superior frontal gyrus. The DLPFC showed increased O2Hb (oxy-haemoglobin) level after the feedback, compatible with the need for higher cognitive effort. In addition, fNIRS measures revealed a decreased inter-brain synchronicity in post-feedback condition for the dyad. Also, the representation of negative emotions in response to failing interactions was signalled by a right-lateralized effect. Conclusions: Results were interpreted at light of available knowledge on perceived self-efficacy and the implementation of common goals and strategies.

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... Frequently, refers to the speed of electrical oscillations and is measured in cycles per second -Hertz (Hz). Frequencies are usually categorized into five types -from highest to lowest: Gamma , Beta (13)(14)(15)(16)(17)(18)(19)(20)(21)(22)(23)(24)(25)(26)(27)(28)(29)(30), Alpha (8)(9)(10)(11)(12)(13), Theta (4-7 or 8 Hz) and Delta (0-4 Hz) [3]. EEG has a low spatial resolution. ...
... In the event analysis, timing was used in studies using digital stimuli ( Fig. 1), 17 works presented baseline periods and it was possible to notice that a set of 5 studies from the same group of authors [8,12,16,18,19] used a baseline period of 120 s, both using fNIRS and the combination of fNIRS and EEG equipments. The second longest baseline period was of 60 s [28], also from a study of the previous group of authors. ...
... It was possible to notice the use of a fixation cross (a cross in the center of the screen), an empty screen (with some kind of background, such as black, white, gray), or Instructions to perform ocular movements and blinks, among others. However, the fixation cross is the most used during the rest period, in 11 studies [7,8,10,12,15,20,22,25,26,28,43], followed by using a black screen, in 4 studies [16][17][18][19], all of them with digital stimuli. During the baseline period, 9 studies [11,15,16,21,22,30,32,35,45] used a fixation cross. ...
... In terms of gestures' complexity, some recent studies [13,14] have shown the involvement of important brain structures that compose the "human mirroring" system, such as the ventral and dorsal premotor cortex, the anterior inferior parietal lobule, the somatosensory areas, the middle temporal gyrus [15], and the frontal cortex [16]. Other studies have investigated the processes underlying the execution and observation of gestures, showing a direct link between action coding and decoding [17,18], which leads interagents involved in non-verbal interactions to perceive themselves as part of a proper joint action, thus developing "resonance mechanisms" and a "common perceptive base" [19,20]. Furthermore, the neural mechanisms-especially sensorimotor cortex responses-associated with the production of gestures have been investigated via electroencephalography (EEG), which has allowed for the detection of cortical oscillations that provided valuable information on transient local functional networks underlying gesture execution [21][22][23]. ...
... Specifically, EEG in hyperscanning allows for a better temporal resolution in recording the two interagents' interactions moment by moment [20,30]. Social communication is a complex phenomenon that cannot be fully traced back to the study of a single isolated brain [30][31][32], which was one of the limitations of some social cognition studies that have investigated social behavior off-line without considering individuals' interactions and face-to-face exchanges [30,[32][33][34]. ...
... Finally, power spectra were calculated to extract information on high-and low-frequency EEG bands: delta (0.5-4 Hz), theta (4-8 Hz), alpha (8)(9)(10)(11)(12), beta (14)(15)(16)(17)(18)(19)(20) [36,37,40]. In particular, the mean EEG power was extracted for each channel, each frequency band, and each condition to explore the neural correlates underlying gesture execution. ...
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Recently, the neurosciences have become interested in the investigation of neural responses associated with the use of gestures. This study focuses on the relationship between the intra-brain and inter-brain connectivity mechanisms underlying the execution of different categories of gestures (positive and negative affective, social, and informative) characterizing non-verbal interactions between thirteen couples of subjects, each composed of an encoder and a decoder. The study results underline a similar modulation of intra- and inter-brain connectivity for alpha, delta, and theta frequency bands in specific areas (frontal or posterior regions) depending on the type of gesture. Moreover, taking into account the gestures’ valence (positive or negative), a similar modulation of intra- and inter-brain connectivity in the left and right sides was observed. This study showed congruence in the intra-brain and inter-brain connectivity trend during the execution of different gestures, underlining how non-verbal exchanges might be characterized by intra-brain phase alignment and implicit mechanisms of mirroring and synchronization between the two individuals involved in the social exchange.
... Applications in motor synchronization were relatively common and generally had participants complete synchronous physical motions as an experimental task in the lab e.g., [139]. These tasks included a cooperative button press task [140] where participants interact either side-by-side e.g., [141] or face-to-face e.g., [142], computer games [51,[141][142][143], joint-tapping tasks [32,40,144], and synchronization tasks [145][146][147]. One study utilized a finger-tapping task to record between-brain hemodynamics [40]. ...
... Orientation. Applications in motor synchronization adopted various orientation methods e.g., [32,40,51,[139][140][141][142][143][144][145][146][147]. For example, Six studies had participants oriented side-by-side [51,139,[141][142][143]146], Two studies had participants oriented back-to-back [32,144], and four of the studies had participants interact face-to-face [40,140,145,147]. ...
... Applications in motor synchronization adopted various orientation methods e.g., [32,40,51,[139][140][141][142][143][144][145][146][147]. For example, Six studies had participants oriented side-by-side [51,139,[141][142][143]146], Two studies had participants oriented back-to-back [32,144], and four of the studies had participants interact face-to-face [40,140,145,147]. ...
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The aim of this study was to conduct a comprehensive review on hyperscanning research (measuring brain activity simultaneously from more than two people interacting) using an explicit systematic method, the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA). Data were searched from IEEE Xplore, PubMed, Engineering Village, Web of Science and Scopus databases. Inclusion criteria were journal articles written in English from 2000 to 19 June 2019. A total of 126 empirical studies were screened out to address three specific questions regarding the neuroimaging method, the application domain, and the experiment paradigm. Results showed that the most used neuroimaging method with hyperscanning was magnetoencephalography/electroencephalography (MEG/EEG; 47%), and the least used neuroimaging method was hyper-transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation (tACS) (1%). Applications in cognition accounted for almost half the studies (48%), while educational applications accounted for less than 5% of the studies. Applications in decision-making tasks were the second most common (26%), shortly followed by applications in motor synchronization (23%). The findings from this systematic review that were based on documented, transparent and reproducible searches should help build cumulative knowledge and guide future research regarding inter-brain neural synchrony during social interactions, that is, hyperscanning research.
... Thus, we devised an fNIRS study in which the neural activity of two agents involved in a real gestural interaction is simultaneously recorded to analyze neural coupling between the encoder and the decoder of meaningful gestures. The exploration of the simultaneous neural mechanisms of two individuals performing a complex joint action is made possible by an advanced experimental paradigm, i.e. hyperscanning, recently used in a growing number of cognitive and social neuroscience studies Balconi et al., 2018b;Vanutelli et al., 2016). ...
... Notably, the synchronization of neural activity of two interacting individuals is conditioned by the presence or absence of an active interlocutor (Konvalinka & Roepstorff, 2012). For example, in several hyperscanning studies it was observed that inter-brain synchronization in frontal regions increases when inter-agents are involved in actual joint actions that require them to develop a joint mental model including representations of the self and of the other inter-agents (Balconi et al., 2018b;Lindenberger et al., 2009) or even when two individuals are simply asked to produce the same gestures and the same mimic expressions (Dumas et al., 2010;Konvalinka et al., 2014). ...
... Furthermore, the increased inter-brain coupling between two inter-agents during a joint action -including, for example, a communication exchange based on gestures -might follow the progressive change of social dynamics from a primarily individual and subjective perspective to a proper inter-agents representation of the interaction, which implies sharing of information and meanings, inter-personal coordination, the acquisition of common strategies, and the modification of individual goals toward the emergence of synergistic actions and the understanding of enacted behaviors and communication intentions (Balconi et al., 2018b;Crivelli & Balconi, 2010). As shown by some research , indeed, a greater attentional and behavioral synchronization between two individuals provides a kind of shared sensorimotor basis that facilitates understanding of intentions and reciprocal actions (Balconi & Canavesio, 2014, 2016Burke et al., 2012;Keysers et al., 2010;Vanutelli et al., 2017). ...
Article
Gestural communication characterizes daily individuals’ interactions in order to share information and to modify others’ behavior. Social neuroscience has investigated the neural bases which support recognizing of different gestures. The present research, through the use of the hyperscanning approach, that allows the simultaneously recording of the activity of two or more individuals involved in a joint action, aims to investigate the neural bases of gestural communication. Moreover, by using hyperscanning paradigm we explore the inter-brain connectivity between two inter-agents, the one who performed the gesture (encoder) and the one who received it (decoder), with functional Near-infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) during the reproduction of affective, social and informative gestures with positive and negative valence. Result showed an increase in oxygenated hemoglobin concentration (O2Hb) and inter-brain connectivity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) for affective gestures, in the superior frontal gyrus (SFG) for social gestures and the frontal eye fields (FEF) for informative gestures, for both encoder and decoder. Furthermore, it emerged that positive gestures activate more the left DLPFC, with an increase in inter-brain connectivity in DLPFC and SFG. The present study revealed the relevant function of the type and valence of gestures in affecting intra- and inter-brain connectivity.
... Indeed, a selfless gift is considered as representative of a specific prosocial behavior, able to strength individuals' sense of reciprocity and cooperative ties 20-25 , increases inter-agents' behavioral coordination through the implementation of specific neurophysiological modulation, such as brain-to-brain coupling mechanisms that occur when both individuals experience the same moods and perceptions [26][27][28][29][30] . As demonstrated by previous studies, joint action and prosocial conditions development increases inter-agents' inter-cerebral synchronization 31 , improving individuals' behavioral and cognitive efficiency 29,30,[32][33][34][35][36][37] . In particular, this increase of inter-cerebral synchronization occurs in specific cerebral areas, such as frontal regions that are the most implicated in social, prosocial and cooperative mechanisms 38-40 . ...
... Moreover, the use of hyperscanning technique has allowed us to abandon the classic individual investigation approach and to embrace the use of a "two-person neuroscience. " In particular, hyperscanning consists of a recent paradigm that has demonstrated its effectiveness in cognitive and social studies 34,35,37,50 , allowing the recording of two individuals' simultaneous brain activity during the performance of a shared task or the development of an interaction 50,51 , providing information about individuals' inter-brain functional connectivity. ...
... Indeed, as demonstrated by previous studies 35,64,65 , the presence of a greater interpersonal link and cohesion lead to the implementation of a synergistic and cooperative behavior increasing the adoption of common O2Hb intra-brain connectivity representation, from left to right, in order 1 for block 1, 2 and 3. The red area represents the increase of O2Hb intra-brain connectivity in DLPFC area. ...
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The gift exchange represents a moment that characterizes interpersonal interactions. In particular, research in psychological and neuroscientific fields aimed to observe the social function of gift exchange. Specifically, the present study aimed to investigate the effects of prosocial behavior, experienced during gift exchange, on individuals’ cognitive performance and brain activity. To this aim, behavioral performance and neural activity of 15 dyads of participants, with a consolidated friendship, were collected during the execution of an attentional cooperative task before or after a gift exchange. Individuals’ brain activity was recorded through the use of Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) in hyperscanning. Results showed an increase of perceived cooperation and cognitive performance, in terms of accuracy (ACC), after gift exchange. The increase of interpersonal tuning and cooperation was also shown by neural activity with an increase of oxygenated hemoglobin (O2Hb) intra-brain and inter-brain connectivity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) following the gift exchange. Moreover, from ConIndex analysis emerged an increase of inter-brain connectivity compared to intra-brain in DLPFC area. The present study, therefore, highlights how prosocial behavior can have positive effects on cognitive performance improvement and interpersonal relationships and neural coordination strengthen, increasing intra and inter-brain connectivity mechanisms.
... Interestingly, a recent hyperscanning study seems to be in line with such evidence, since it revealed that two cooperative partners show increased behavioral and neural synchrony than competitive ones during a joint task [5]. This result was motivated as a sort of disengagement from the members of the couple, and a similar effect was also observed in the case of inefficient joint interactions [6][7][8][9]. Thus, although it is significant to explore cooperation as a highly gratifying, positive, and rewarding condition, the effects related to disengagement, social exclusion, social differentiation and hierarchic mechanisms deserve greater attention. ...
... Cooperation, instead, creates a bond, an overlapping, between the two inter-agents, which leads to increased connectivity patterns [5,24,25]. Interestingly, a similar effect was also observed in the case of inefficient joint interactions [6][7][8][9]. ...
Article
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Background Social behavior and interactions pervasively shape and influence our lives and relationships. Competition, in particular, has become a core topic in social neuroscience since it stresses the relevance and salience of social comparison processes between the inter-agents that are involved in a common task. The majority of studies, however, investigated such kind of social interaction via one-person individual paradigms, thus not taking into account relevant information concerning interdependent participants’ behavioral and neural responses. In the present study, dyads of volunteers participated in a hyperscanning paradigm and competed in a computerized attention task while their electrophysiological (EEG) activity and performance were monitored and recorded. Behavioral data and inter-brain coupling measures based on EEG frequency data were then computed and compared across different experimental conditions: a control condition (individual task, t0), a first competitive condition (pre-feedback condition, t1), and a second competitive condition following a positive reinforcing feedback (post-feedback condition, t2). Results Results showed that during competitive tasks participants’ performance was improved with respect to control condition (reduced response times and error rates), with a further specific improvement after receiving a reinforcing feedback. Concurrently, we observed a reduction of inter-brain functional connectivity (primarily involving bilateral prefrontal areas) for slower EEG frequency bands (delta and theta). Finally, correlation analyses highlighted a significant association between cognitive performance and inter-brain connectivity measures. Conclusions The present results may help identifying specific patterns of behavioral and inter-brain coupling measures associated to competition and processing of social reinforcements.
... In light of this evidence, in the present study, in order to investigate the brain correlates underlying the observation of different positive and negative types of gestures (affective, social, and informative), the neural responses of encoders and decoders were recorded through the use of fNIRS in hyperscanning, that is a very effective neuroimaging technique for the recording of individuals' neural activity underlying emotional or social processes (Balconi & Cortesi, 2016;Balconi, Vanutelli, & Grippa, 2017;Crivelli et al., 2018) under natural or maximally ecological conditions (Balconi & Molteni, 2016;, providing information on interbrain tuning and "resonance" and implicit coupling mechanisms (Balconi, Gatti, & Vanutelli, 2018;Vanutelli et al., 2016). ...
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Introduction Gestures characterize individuals' nonverbal communicative exchanges, taking on different functions. Several types of research in the neuroscientific field have been interested in the investigation of the neural correlates underlying the observation and implementation of different gestures categories. In particular, different studies have focused on the neural correlates underlying gestures observation, emphasizing the presence of mirroring mechanisms in specific brain areas, which appear to be involved in gesture observation and planning mechanisms. Materials and methods Specifically, the present study aimed to investigate the neural mechanisms, through the use of functional Near‐Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), underlying the observation of affective, social, and informative gestures with positive and negative valence in individuals' dyads composed by encoder and decoder. The variations of oxygenated (O2Hb) and deoxygenated (HHb) hemoglobin concentrations of both individuals were collected simultaneously through the use of hyperscanning paradigm, allowing the recording of brain responsiveness and interbrain connectivity. Results The results showed a different brain activation and an increase of interbrain connectivity according to the type of gestures observed, with a significant increase of O2Hb brain responsiveness and interbrain connectivity and a decrease of HHb brain responsiveness for affective gestures in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and for social gestures in the superior frontal gyrus (SFG). Furthermore, concerning the valence of the observed gestures, an increase of O2Hb brain activity and interbrain connectivity was observed in the left DLPFC for positive affective gestures compared to negative ones. Conclusion In conclusion, the present study showed different brain responses underlying the observation of different types of positive and negative gestures. Moreover, interbrain connectivity calculation allowed us to underline the presence of mirroring mechanisms involved in gesture‐specific frontal regions during gestures observation and action planning.
... The frontal and parietal areas, specifically, are involved in mirroring processes, creating a direct link between gestures' observation and execution [22,23], that allows for the understanding of the motor intention underlying others' action reproductions and supports some cognitive, emotional, and empathic processes [24][25][26]. Moreover, frontal regions appear to be involved in mental model creation, including representations of the self and others [27][28][29][30]. ...
Article
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Communication can be considered as a joint action that involves two or more individuals transmitting different information. In particular, non-verbal communication involves body movements used to communicate different information, characterized by the use of specific gestures. The present study aims to investigate the electrophysiological (EEG) correlates underlying the use of affective, social, and informative gestures during a non-verbal interaction between an encoder and decoder. From the results of the single brain and inter-brain analyses, an increase of frontal alpha, delta, and theta brain responsiveness and inter-brain connectivity emerged for affective and social gestures; while, for informative gestures, an increase of parietal alpha brain responsiveness and alpha, delta, and theta inter-brain connectivity was observed. Regarding the inter-agents’ role, an increase of frontal alpha activity was observed in the encoder compared to the decoder for social and affective gestures. Finally, regarding gesture valence, an increase of theta brain responsiveness and theta and beta inter-brain connectivity was observed for positive gestures on the left side compared to the right one. This study, therefore, revealed the function of the gesture type and valence in influencing individuals’ brain responsiveness and inter-brain connectivity, showing the presence of resonance mechanisms underlying gesture execution and observation.
... Learning through social interaction is one of the most extraordinary capabilities of all social species, especially human beings (Marchiori and Warglien, 2008;Pan et al., 2018); examples include observation and imitation (Dumas et al., 2010;Iacoboni and Mazziotta, 2007), feedback and modification (Balconi et al., 2018a(Balconi et al., , 2018bBalconi and Vanutelli, 2018), as well as teaching and learning (Bevilacqua et al., 2018;Brockington et al., 2018;Holper et al., 2013). Yet, the brain basis of such social interactive learning remains poorly elucidated since conventional neuroimaging studies have only focused on isolated brains but not interacting minds (Liu and Pelowski, 2014). ...
Thesis
Social interactive learning is ubiquitous in human society. Learning through interactions with others plays an essential role in the daily lives of many people. Almost every day we communicate with peers or instructors, exchange information, observe and imitate other’s behaviors, with the purpose of learning. Yet how such interactive learning is parsed in the brains of interacting individuals remains poorly elucidated, and may be regarded as the “dark matter” of educational neuroscience. This thesis addresses the brain basis of interactive learning in three aspects: identification, modulation, and causation. Specifically, we investigated (i) whether interpersonal brain synchronization (IBS) could reliably identify interactive learning, (ii) how IBS and interactive learning could be modulated, and (iii) whether IBS plays a causal role in interactive learning. To approach these questions, we used functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS)-based hyperscanning to collect the neuroimaging data and naturalistic instructor-learner exchange as a principle experimental paradigm to realize interactive learning in the experiments. We developed a novel hyper-transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) system, which enabled manipulation of IBS between instructors and learners to examine the causative role of IBS in interactive learning. In the first study, we investigated the IBS between instructors and learners during more versus less interactive learning by computing the Wavelet Transform Coherence of instructor-learner brain activity. We have shown that IBS in the inferior frontal cortex reliably identifies and tracks interactive learning, and that IBS is more prominent when learning experience entails more turn-taking behaviors. Importantly, the unraveled IBS was associated with learning performance. In the second study, we further explore whether IBS and interactive learning could be modulated by the instructor’s verbal instruction. Results showed that compared to the explanation instruction, the scaffolding instruction elicited better learning performance and greater IBS. Besides, we adopted the machine learning to test IBS’s ability to discriminate between the two verbal instructions. We successfully showed that instructional strategies could be distinguished with a relatively high prediction performance. In the third study, we tested whether sleep deprivation (SD), which potentially impacts both social interactions and learning abilities, modulates interactive learning and IBS. Although learners performed below the baseline level immediately following SD, learning performance was comparable between sleep-rested (SR) and SD conditions after interactions with the instructor. Compared to SR, the SD condition induced greater IBS within instructor-learner dyads in the left inferior frontal cortex. Importantly, this IBS enhancement was associated with SD learners’ improved performance. Moreover, Granger Causality analysis showed that mean causalities from instructor to learner were significantly larger than vice versa following SD (but not SR). The fourth and final study investigated the causative role of IBS in interactive learning. By manipulating IBS through hyper-tACS, we demonstrated that externally induced IBS selectively biases interactive learning. Specifically, manipulation of IBS enhanced learners’ intonation performance and instructor-learner behavioral synchrony in a phase- (i.e., in-phase) and frequency-specific (i.e., 6 Hz) manner. The intonation performance also increased as a function of interpersonal synchrony. These results provide valuable insights into the functional role of IBS in interactive learning. The IBS may reflect the alignment of neural processes across learners and instructors. Such neural alignment impacts upon the acquisition of knowledge and information, and eventually upon the learning performance. Our studies hold strong relevance for real-world pedagogical practices and warrant future research to conduct clinical investigations that target learning deficits.
... It offers considerable benefits over techniques such as fMRI and EEG because it allows research on online dyadic communication (unlike fMRI) alongside a relatively high spatial resolution and good anatomical localization (unlike EEG). fNIRS-based hyperscanning has been successfully used to study dyadic or multi-person communication (Balconi et al., 2018;Cui et al., 2012;Hirsch et al., 2017;Jiang et al., 2012;Lu et al., 2018;Nozawa et al., 2016;Pan et al., 2018). ...
... Nowadays, the researchers use awide variety of sensorimotor tests in which two or more subjects have to simultaneously perform different tasks in different contexts: individual, competitive or cooperative ones [14,20]. As an example, there are studies on the role of negative and positive feedback in the effectiveness of cooperation between individuals [5,6]. ...
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A psychophysiological complex including synchronous registration of encephalograms and heart rate variability of two subjects in the process of their individual and joint activity on the basis of biological feedback was developed. At the first step, the subjects separately trained to hold the height of the column within the target range presented on the display by changing the tension of the hand flexors which was recorded by the telemetrically elec-tromyographic sensor. The model of competitive activity was based on the rivalry of participants to maintain the height of their columns within the target range as long as it possible. During the cooperative activity, the subjects had to keep the height of one column that depended on the integral index calculated for EMG signals from both subjects. The complex developed allows to carry out a comparative analysis of the psychophysiological mechanisms of individual and joint activities in different social contexts.
... These issues was partially addressed in previous research about competition (Balconi & Vanutelli, 2017c) and cooperation (Balconi, Gatti, & Vanutelli, 2017;Balconi & Vanutelli, 2017a) with functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). However, they should be supported in the future by other neural (EEG, temporal features) and peripheral measures. ...
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Introduction The neural activity in response to ineffective joint actions was explored in the present study. Subjects involved in a cooperative but frustrating task (poor performance as manipulated by an external feedback) were required to cooperate (T1) during an attentional task in a way to synchronize their responses and obtain better outcomes. Methods We manipulated their strategies by providing false feedbacks (T2) signaling the incapacity to create a synergy, which was reinforced by a general negative evaluation halfway through the game. A control condition was provided (no cooperation required, T0) as well as a check for possible learning effect (time series analysis). The effects of the feedback in modulating subjects' behavioral performance and electrocortical activity were explored by means of brain oscillations (delta, theta, alpha, beta) and autonomic activity (heart rate, HR; skin conductance activity, SCR). Results Results showed a specific pattern of behavioral, neural, and peripheral responses after the social feedback. In fact, within this condition, worse behavioral outcomes emerged, with longer response times with respect to the prefeedback one. In parallel, a specific right‐lateralized effect was observed over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), with increased delta and theta power compared to the previous condition. Moreover, increased SCR was observed with respect to the first part. Conclusions Two interpretations are put forward to explain the present findings: 1) the contribution of negative emotions in response to failing interactions or 2) a motivational disengagement toward goal‐oriented cooperation elicited by frustrating evaluations.
... In fact, physiological linkage per se is not sufficient to provide a complete interpretation of our findings in terms of positive/negative valence. Since such measures have already been considered in previous research on neural coupling with respect to performance and explicit, subjective variables (see, e.g., [29,84,85]), their introduction would be desirable in other future work on autonomic synchrony. ...
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Previous research highlighted that during social interactions people shape each other’s emotional states by resonance mechanisms and synchronized autonomic patterns. Starting from the idea that joint actions create shared emotional experiences, in the present study a social bond was experimentally induced by making subjects cooperate with each other. Participants’ autonomic system activity (electrodermal: skin conductance level and response: SCL, SCR; cardiovascular indices: heart rate: HR) was continuously monitored during an attentional couple game. The cooperative motivation was induced by presenting feedback which reinforced the positive outcomes of the intersubjective exchange. 24 participants coupled in 12 dyads were recruited. Intrasubject analyses revealed higher HR in the first part of the task, connoted by increased cognitive demand and arousing social dynamic, while intersubject analysis showed increased synchrony in electrodermal activity after the feedback. Such results encourage the use of hyperscanning techniques to assess emotional coupling in ecological and real-time paradigms.
Article
Gestural communication allows providing information about thoughts and feelings, characterizing face-to-face interactions, also during non-verbal exchanges. In the present study, the autonomic responses and peripheral synchronization mechanisms of two individuals (encoder and decoder) were recorded simultaneously, through the use of biofeedback in hyperscanning, during two different experimental phases consisting in the observation (watching videos of gestures) and reproduction of positive and negative different types of gestures (affective, social and informative) supported by linguistic contexts. Therefore, the main aim of this study was focused on the analysis of simultaneous individuals' peripheral mechanisms during the performing of complex joint action, consisting of the observation (watching videos) and the reproduction of positive and negative social, affective, and informative gestures each supported by a linguistic script. Single-subject and inter-subject correlation analyses were conducted to observe individuals' autonomic responses and physiological synchronization. Single-subject results revealed an increase in emotional arousal, indicated by an increase in electrodermal activity (skin conductance level - SCL and response - SCR), during both the observation (watching videos) and reproduction of negative social and affective gestures contextualized by a linguistic context. Moreover, an increase of emotional engagement, expressed by an increase in heart rate (HR) activity, emerged in the encoder compare to the decoder during gestures reproduction (simulation of gestures). Inter-subject correlation results showed the presence of mirroring mechanisms, indicated by an increase in SCL, SCR, and HR synchronization, during the linguistic contexts and gesture observation (watching videos). Furthermore, an increase in SCL and SCR synchronization emerged during the observation (watching videos) and reproduction of negative social and affective gestures. Therefore, the present study allowed to obtain information on the mirroring mechanisms and physiological synchronization underlying the linguistic and gesture system during non-verbal interaction.
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In this study we conduct interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA) of the narrative accounts of 17 community members who reside on the south shore of Lake Superior in northern Wisconsin regarding the experience of living amid climate change. We propose that there is a connection between the fundamental nature of climate change and the phenomenological nature of living with it, and that difficult emotions emerge from those experiences. Our analysis illustrates how feelings of helplessness and fear are entwined with not only experiences of ecological loss and living within harmful systems and structures, but also the experience of living with an awareness of the global scale and complexity of climate change. Participants narrate their understandings of the failure of collective action and the uncertainties surrounding the magnitude and timing of localized effects of climate change. While facing and processing difficult emotions that arise in relation to climate change can lead toward hope, renewal, and political and moral action, we propose that the nature of climate change challenges us to be more intentional about providing spaces for such transformations.
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Background: Recent research in cognitive neurosciences highlights how the neural circuitries are activated during pain responses in empathic context. Aims: The present study was designed to test if healthy subjects and Fibromyalgia (FM) patients, both evaluated by Laser Evoked Potentials (LEPs) and Event-Related Spectral Perturbation (ERSP), might reveal the empathic response to the partner's nociceptive stimulation. Methods: The emphatic nociceptive paradigm was recorded through 64 channels EEG and laser stimulation of the right hand in a shared visual open setting (Open Condition) or in a blind setting (Blind condition) where the subjects didn't receive visual information about partner nociceptive condition. Twenty one healthy subjects and 19 FM patients were evaluated in pairs. All subjects were tested by the Empathy for Pain Scale (EPS). Results: The averaged LEPs were similar between patients and controls in the different conditions. In attendance of the partner's stimulation, FM patients desynchronized the same fronto-central regions as before own stimulation, while healthy subjects shared the other's pain by activating scalp areas compatible with visual attention. These EEG features were more represented in subjects with higher EPS scores. Conclusions: While empathic features of healthy subjects seemed influenced by the specific visual attentional task, patients expressed an EEG pattern compatible with somatosensory circuits activation in the expectation of own and other's pain. The visual empathic involvement in other's noxious stimulation could evoke a different EEG response depending upon the experience of chronic pain.
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In the present study, the social ranking perception in competition was explored. Brain response (alpha band oscillations, EEG; hemodynamic activity, O2Hb), as well as self-perception of social ranking, cognitive performance, and personality trait (Behavioral Activation System, BAS) were considered during a competitive joint-action. Subjects were required to develop a strategy to obtain a better outcome than a competitor (C) (in term of error rate, and response time, RT). A pre-feedback (without a specific feedback on the performance) and a post-feedback condition (which reinforced the improved performance) were provided. It was found that higher-BAS participants responded in greater measure to perceived higher cognitive performance (post-feedback condition), with increased left prefrontal activity, higher ranking perception, and a better real performance (reduced RTs). These results were explained in term of increased sense of self-efficacy and social position, probably based on higher-BAS sensitivity to reinforcing conditions. In addition, the hemispheric effect in favor of the left side characterized the competitive behavior, showing an imbalance for high-BAS in comparison to low-BAS in the case of a rewarding (post-feedback) context. Therefore, the present results confirmed the significance of BAS in modulating brain responsiveness, self-perceived social position, and real performance during an interpersonal competitive action which is considered highly relevant for social status.
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Researchers from multiple fields have sought to understand how sex moderates human social behavior. While over 50 years of research has revealed differences in cooperation behavior of males and females, the underlying neural correlates of these sex differences have not been explained. A missing and fundamental element of this puzzle is an understanding of how the sex composition of an interacting dyad influences the brain and behavior during cooperation. Using fNIRS-based hyperscanning in 111 same- and mixed-sex dyads, we identified significant behavioral and neural sex-related differences in association with a computer-based cooperation task. Dyads containing at least one male demonstrated significantly higher behavioral performance than female/female dyads. Individual males and females showed significant activation in the right frontopolar and right inferior prefrontal cortices, although this activation was greater in females compared to males. Female/female dyad’s exhibited significant inter-brain coherence within the right temporal cortex, while significant coherence in male/male dyads occurred in the right inferior prefrontal cortex. Significant coherence was not observed in mixed-sex dyads. Finally, for same-sex dyads only, task-related inter-brain coherence was positively correlated with cooperation task performance. Our results highlight multiple important and previously undetected influences of sex on concurrent neural and behavioral signatures of cooperation.
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Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is an increasingly popular technology for studying social cognition. In particular, fNIRS permits simultaneous measurement of hemodynamic activity in two or more individuals interacting in a naturalistic setting. Here, we used fNIRS hyperscanning to study social cognition and communication in human dyads engaged in cooperative and non-cooperative interaction while they played the game of Jenga™. Novel methods were developed to identify synchronized channels for each dyad and a structural node-based spatial registration approach was utilized for inter-dyad analyses. Strong inter-brain neural synchrony (INS) was observed in the posterior region of the right middle and superior frontal gyrus, in particular Brodmann area 8, during cooperative and obstructive interaction. This synchrony was not observed during the parallel game play condition and the dialogue section, suggesting that BA8 was involved in goal-oriented social interaction such as complex interactive movements and social decision-making. INS was also observed in the dorsomedial prefrontal region (dmPFC), in particular Brodmann 9, during cooperative interaction only. These additional findings suggest that BA9 may be particularly engaged when theory-of-mind is required for cooperative social interaction. The new methods described here have the potential to significantly extend fNIRS applications to social cognitive research.
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Presents a theoretical analysis of the representational mechanism underlying a child's ability to pretend. This mechanism extends the power of the infant's existing capacity for (primary) representation, creating a capacity for "metarepresentation." It is this, developing toward the end of infancy, that underlies the child's new abilities to pretend and to understand pretense in others. There is a striking isomorphism between the 3 fundamental forms of pretend play and 3 crucial logical properties of mental state expressions in language. This isomorphism points to a common underlying form of internal representation that is here called metarepresentation. A performance model, the "decoupler," is outlined embodying ideas about how an infant might compute the complex function postulated to underlie pretend play. This model also reveals pretense as an early manifestation of the ability to understand mental states. Aspects of later preschool development, both normal and abnormal, are discussed in the light of the new model. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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A new theory of similarity, rooted in the detection and recognition literatures, is developed. The general recognition theory assumes that the perceptual effect of a stimulus is random but that on any single trial it can be represented as a point in a multidimensional space. Similarity is a function of the overlap of perceptual distributions. It is shown that the general recognition theory contains Euclidean distance models of similarity as a special case but that unlike them, it is not constrained by any distance axioms. Three experiments are reported that test the empirical validity of the theory. In these experiments the general recognition theory accounts for similarity data as well as the currently popular similarity theories do, and it accounts for identification data as well as the longstanding "champion" identification model does. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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We examined the mutability of naturally occurring mutual cooperation and mutual defection. Forty-five pairs of subjects participated in an extended iterated prisoner's dilemma (median duration 1807 trials) using a monetary payoff matrix. When stable cooperation or defection emerged, false feedback was provided indicating to each subject that his partner was choosing contrary to previously stable play. This was followed by recovery trials in which false feedback indicated to each subject that his partner had resumed making the previously stable choice.While stable cooperation occurred more frequently than stable defection, it was considerably more vulnerable to the false feedback manipulation. This was true both in terms of the extent to which choice changed in response to false feedback (p=0.006) and in terms of the extent to which the disruption persisted (p<0.001). While the effect of four false feedback cooperations was undone by a single recovery false feedback defection, the effect of even a single false feedback defection was still apparent after seven false feedback recovery cooperations. These results are discussed in relation to the analogy between interpersonal bargaining and intertemporal bargaining within individuals.
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Social rejection can create powerful changes in people's brains and bodies. In the study reported here, we examined brain-based individual differences associated with buffering against cardiovascular threat responses to social rejection. Using EEG source-localization techniques, we examined differences in intracortical asymmetry. We predicted that individuals with greater left relative to right dorsolateral prefrontal activity would show a more approach-motivated response to social rejection. Eighty-four female participants were randomly assigned to one of three stressful situations: social rejection, social evaluation without rejection, or self-evaluation. Among participants assigned to the social-rejection condition, greater left relative to right prefrontal intracortical activity at baseline was associated with more adaptive cardiovascular profiles and more self-reported approach-oriented emotions. Participants in the other conditions did not show these relationships. Our data are the first to show that social context matters when attempting to link individual differences in cortical asymmetry with approach-related cardiovascular and emotional outcomes.
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Understanding the neural mechanisms responsible for human social interactions is difficult, since the brain activities of two or more individuals have to be examined simultaneously and correlated with the observed social patterns. We introduce the concept of hyper-brain network, a connectivity pattern representing at once the information flow among the cortical regions of a single brain as well as the relations among the areas of two distinct brains. Graph analysis of hyper-brain networks constructed from the EEG scanning of 26 couples of individuals playing the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma reveals the possibility to predict non-cooperative interactions during the decision-making phase. The hyper-brain networks of two-defector couples have significantly less inter-brain links and overall higher modularity--i.e., the tendency to form two separate subgraphs--than couples playing cooperative or tit-for-tat strategies. The decision to defect can be "read" in advance by evaluating the changes of connectivity pattern in the hyper-brain network.
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Cooperation among genetically unrelated individuals is a fundamental aspect of society, but it has been a longstanding puzzle in biological and social sciences. Recently, theoretical studies in biology and economics showed that conditional cooperation—cooperating only with those who have exhibited cooperative behavior—can spread over a society. Furthermore, experimental studies in psychology demonstrated that people are actually conditional cooperators. In this study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the neural system underlying conditional cooperation by scanning participants during interaction with cooperative, neutral and non-cooperative opponents in prisoner's dilemma games. The results showed that: (i) participants cooperated more frequently with both cooperative and neutral opponents than with non-cooperative opponents; and (ii) a brain area related to cognitive inhibition of pre-potent responses (right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) showed greater activation, especially when participants confronted non-cooperative opponents. Consequently, we suggest that cognitive inhibition of the motivation to cooperate with non-cooperators drives the conditional behavior.
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Humans use facial cues to convey social dominance and submission. Despite the evolutionary importance of this social ability, how the brain recognizes social dominance from the face is unknown. We used event-related brain potentials (ERP) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the neural mechanisms underlying social dominance perception from facial cues. Participants made gender judgments while viewing aggression-related facial expressions as well as facial postures conveying dominance or submission. ERP evidence indicates that the perception of dominance from aggression-related emotional expressions occurs early in neural processing while the perception of social dominance from facial postures arises later. Brain imaging results show that activity in the fusiform gyrus, superior temporal gyrus and lingual gyrus, is associated with the perception of social dominance from facial postures and the magnitude of neural response in these regions differentiates between perceived dominance and perceived submissiveness.
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During behavioral adaptation through interaction with human and nonhuman agents, marked individual differences are seen in both real-life situations and games. However, the underlying neural mechanism is not well understood. We conducted a neuroimaging experiment in which subjects maximized monetary rewards by learning in a prisoner's dilemma game with two computer agents: agent A, a tit-for-tat player who repeats the subject's previous action, and agent B, a simple stochastic cooperator oblivious to the subject's action. Approximately 1/3 of the subjects (group I) learned optimally in relation to both A and B, while another 1/3 (group II) did so only for B. Post-experiment interviews indicated that group I exploited the agent strategies more often than group II. Significant differences in learning-related brain activity between the two groups were only found in the superior temporal sulcus (STS) for both A and B. Furthermore, the learning performance of each group I subject was predictable based on this STS activity, but not in the group II subjects. This differential activity could not be attributed to a behavioral difference since it persisted in relation to agent B for which the two groups behaved similarly. In sharp contrast, the brain structures for reward processing were recruited similarly by both groups. These results suggest that STS provides knowledge of the other agent's strategies for association between action and reward and highlights learning competence during interactive reinforcement learning.
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Our ability to explain and predict other people's behaviour by attributing to them independent mental states, such as beliefs and desires, is known as having a 'theory of mind'. Interest in this very human ability has engendered a growing body of evidence concerning its evolution and development and the biological basis of the mechanisms underpinning it. Functional imaging has played a key role in seeking to isolate brain regions specific to this ability. Three areas are consistently activated in association with theory of mind. These are the anterior paracingulate cortex, the superior temporal sulci and the temporal poles bilaterally. This review discusses the functional significance of each of these areas within a social cognitive network.
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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is widely theorized to stem from dysfunctional inhibitory processes. However, the definition of inhibition is imprecisely distinguished across theories. To clarify the evidence for this conception, the author relies on a heuristic distinction between inhibition that is under executive control and inhibition that is under motivational control (anxiety or fear). It is argued that ADHD is unlikely to be due to a motivational inhibitory control deficit, although suggestions are made for additional studies that could overturn that conclusion. Evidence for a deficit in an executive motor inhibition process for the ADHD combined type is more compelling but is not equally strong for all forms of executive inhibitory control. Remaining issues include specificity to ADHD, whether inhibitory problems are primary or secondary in causing ADHD, role of comorbid anxiety and conduct disorder, and functional deficits in the inattentive ADHD subtype.
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Presents an integrative theoretical framework to explain and to predict psychological changes achieved by different modes of treatment. This theory states that psychological procedures, whatever their form, alter the level and strength of self-efficacy. It is hypothesized that expectations of personal efficacy determine whether coping behavior will be initiated, how much effort will be expended, and how long it will be sustained in the face of obstacles and aversive experiences. Persistence in activities that are subjectively threatening but in fact relatively safe produces, through experiences of mastery, further enhancement of self-efficacy and corresponding reductions in defensive behavior. In the proposed model, expectations of personal efficacy are derived from 4 principal sources of information: performance accomplishments, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion, and physiological states. Factors influencing the cognitive processing of efficacy information arise from enactive, vicarious, exhortative, and emotive sources. The differential power of diverse therapeutic procedures is analyzed in terms of the postulated cognitive mechanism of operation. Findings are reported from microanalyses of enactive, vicarious, and emotive modes of treatment that support the hypothesized relationship between perceived self-efficacy and behavioral changes. (21/2 p ref)
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The aim of the present study was to investigate the neural bases of cooperative behaviors and social self-perception underlying the execution of joint actions by using a hyperscanning brain paradigm with functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). We firstly found that an artificial positive feedback on the cognitive performance was able to affect the self-perception of social position and hierarchy (higher social ranking) for the dyad, as well as the cognitive performance (decreased error rate, ER, and response times, RTs). In addition, the shared cognitive strategy was concurrently improved within the dyad after this social reinforcing. Secondly, fNIRS measures revealed an increased brain activity in the postfeedback condition for the dyad. Moreover, an interbrain similarity was found for the dyads during the task, with higher coherent prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity for the interagents in the postfeedback condition. Finally, a significant prefrontal brain lateralization effect was revealed, with the left hemisphere being more engaged during the postfeedback condition. To summarize, the self-perception, the cognitive performance, and the shared brain activity were all reinforced by the social feedback within the dyad.
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Cooperation is usually described as a human tendency to act jointly that involves helping, sharing, and acting prosocially. Nonetheless clues of cooperative actions can be found also in non-humans animals, as described in the first section of the present work. Even if such behaviors have been conventionally attributed to the research of immediate benefits within the animal world, some recent experimental evidence highlighted that, in highly social species, the effects of cooperative actions on others' wellbeing may constitute a reward per se, thus suggesting that a strictly economic perspective can't exhaust the meaning of cooperative decisions in animals. Here we propose, in the second section, that a deeper explanation concerning cognitive and emotional abilities in both humans and animals should be taken into account. Finally, the last part of the paper will be devoted to the description of synchronization patterns in humans within complex neuroscientific experimental paradigms, such as hyperscanning.
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This experiment tested the hypothesis that rewards offered for performance attainments during competency development promote children's arithmetic skills and percepts of self-efficacy. Children received didactic instruction in division operations and were offered rewards contingent on their actual performance, rewards for simply participating, or no rewards. Results showed that performance-contingent rewards led to the highest levels of division skill and self-efficacy, as well as the most rapid problem solving during the training program. In contrast, offering rewards for participation resulted in no benefits compared with offering no rewards. The findings suggest caution in how rewards are distributed in educational contexts.
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In the present research, we manipulated the perceived superior/inferior status during a competitive cognitive task. In two experiments, we created an explicit and strongly reinforced social hierarchy based on incidental rating on an attentional task. Based on our hypotheses, social rank may influence nonverbal cues (such as facial mimic related to emotional response), cortical lateralized activity in frontal areas (brain oscillations), and cognitive outcomes in response to rank modulation. Thus, the facial mimic (corrugators vs. zygomatic muscle activity), frequency bands (delta, theta, alpha, beta), and real cognitive performance [(error rate (ER); response times (RTs)] were considered. Specifically, a peer-group comparison was enrolled and an improved (experiment 1, N = 29) or decreased (experiment 2, N = 31) performance was artificially manipulated by the experimenter. Results showed a significant improved cognitive performance (decreased ER and RTs), an increased zygomatic activity (positive emotions), and a more prefrontal left-lateralized cortical response in the case of a perceived increased social ranking. On the contrary, a significant decreased cognitive performance (increased ER and RTs), an increased corrugators activity (negative emotions), and a less left-lateralized cortical response were observed as a consequence of a perceived decreased social ranking. Moreover, the correlational values revealed a consistent trend between behavioral (RTs) and EMG and EEG measures for both experiments. The present results suggest that social status not only guides social behavior, but it also influences cognitive processes and subjects' performance.
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The perception and interpretation of social hierarchies is a key part of our social life. In the present research we considered the activation of cortical areas, mainly the prefrontal cortex, related to social ranking perception in conjunction with some personality components (BAS - Behavioral Activation System - and BIS - Behavioral Inhibition System). In two experiments we manipulated the perceived superior/inferior status during a competitive cognitive task. Indeed, we created an explicit and strongly reinforced social hierarchy based on incidental rating in an attentional task. Specifically, a peer group comparison was undertaken and improved (Experiment 1) or decreased (Experiment 2) performance was artificially manipulated by the experimenter. For each experiment two groups were compared, based on a BAS and BIS dichotomy. Alpha band modulation in prefrontal cortex, behavioral measures (performance: error rate, ER; response times, RTs), and self-perceived ranking were considered. Repeated measures ANOVAs and regression analyses showed in Experiment 1 a significant improved cognitive performance (decreased ER and RTs) and higher self-perceived ranking in high-BAS participants. Moreover, their prefrontal activity was increased within the left side (alpha band decreasing). Conversely, in Experiment 2 a significant decreased cognitive performance (increased ER and RTs) and lower self-perceived ranking was observed in higher-BIS participants. Their prefrontal right activity was increased in comparison with higher BAS. The regression analyses confirmed the significant predictive role of alpha band modulation with respect of subjects' performance and self-perception of social ranking, differently for BAS/BIS components. The present results suggest that social status perception is directly modulated by cortical activity and personality correlates.
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Engaging in prosocial behavior was explored in the present research, by investigating the role of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in modulation of intention to support other people and of emotional attuning as it was expressed by facial feedback (electromiography, EMG). High-frequency rTMS was applied on DLPFC to 25 subjects when they were required to choose to directly intervene or not to support other people in emotionally valenced social situations (cooperative, noncooperative, conflictual, neutral contexts). Two control conditions were included in the experimental design to control the simple stimulation effect (sham condition with absence of TMS stimulation) and the location effect (control site condition with Pz stimulation). In comparison with sham and control condition, rTMS stimulation induced increased prosocial behavior in all the emotional situations. Moreover, as a function of valence, zygomatic (for positive situations) and corrugators (for negative situations) muscle activity was increased, with significant effect by DLPFC stimulation which induced a "facilitation effect". In addition, negative situations showed a higher rTMS impact for both behavioral and EMG responsiveness. Finally, prosocial behavior was found to be predicted (regression analysis) by EMG variations, as a function of the negative versus positive valence. The prefrontal circuit was suggested to support emotional responsiveness and facial feedback in order to facilitate the prosocial behavior.
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The present research intended first to confirm psychophysiological and cortical responses to valence- and arousal-manipulated stimuli and second to show how the BIS and BAS (Behavioural Inhibition and Activation System) personality characteristics correlated with these psychophysiological and cortical responses. Multiple measures were recorded, such as psychophysiological (skin conductance response, heart rate, and electromyography) and ERPs (event-related potentials) responses, during viewing IAPS figures, that varied in terms of pleasantness (appetitive vs. aversive) and arousing power (high vs. low intensity). Autonomic variables and two ERP positive deflections (P3 and LPP ERP effects) were found to be modulated by valence and arousal rating, with an increased response for high arousing and negative or positive stimuli in comparison with low arousing and neutral stimuli. Moreover, high BAS subjects were more responsive to positive than negative emotions, whereas high BIS subjects responded in greater measure to negative and arousing emotions. Findings were discussed in light of biphasic model of emotion comprehension.
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A diversity of methods have been used to study cerebral asymmetries associated with emotion. Many different conceptual schemes have also been invoked to guide research on this topic. The purpose of this article is to survey the critical methodological and conceptual issues in this area of research. Research in this area must acknowledge the multi-componential nature of emotion. Asymmetries associated with the perception of emotional information and the posing of emotional expressions are not necessarily the same as those that accompany the actual production of emotion. Asymmetries vary along the rostral/caudal plane both in their magnitude and direction, as well as in their functional significance. Research in this area must explicitly take this variable into account. Different measures of asymmetry do not reflect the same underlying process and so cannot be used interchangeably. In particular, behavioural measures which lack extensive localising validation, must be used with caution. Finally, the nature of the causal connection between alterations in asymmetric activation and emotion is not a simple one and extant data indicate that an asymmetric shift is not sufficient for the production of emotion. This fact has serious implications for the types of experimental designs that must be used to adequately test for relations between cerebral asymmetry and emotion. The article concludes with a discussion of some of the major outstanding questions that will occupy a central position in the future research agenda in this area.
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This article examines the idea that perceived self‐efficacy is an important variable in understanding achievement behavior. Self‐efficacy refers to personal judgments of one's capability to organize and implement behaviors in specific situations. Students gain information about their level of self‐efficacy from self‐performances, vicarious experiences, verbal persuasion, and physiological indices. In forming efficacy judgments, people take into account factors such as perceived ability, task difficulty, effort expenditure, performance aids, and outcome patterns. Even when students acquire efficacy information from self‐performances, efficacy judgments are not mere reflections of those performances because educational practices differ in the type of information they convey about students’ capabilities. Some experimental tests of these ideas are summarized along with their educational implications. The self‐efficacy framework is compared with locus of control, attribution, and self‐worth theories of achievement behavior.
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Tested the hypothesis that rewards offered for performance attainments during competency development promote children's arithmetic skills and percepts of self-efficacy. 36 children (aged 8 yrs 9 mo to 11 yrs 5 mo) received didactic instruction in division operations and were offered rewards contingent on their actual performance, rewards for simply participating, or no rewards. Results show that performance-contingent rewards led to the highest levels of division skill and self-efficacy, as well as the most rapid problem solving during the training program. In contrast, offering rewards for participation resulted in no benefits compared with offering no rewards. Findings suggest that caution should be used in distributing rewards in educational contexts. (28 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
56 children (mean age 9 yrs, 10 mo) showing low arithmetic achievement received either modeling of division operations or didactic instruction, followed by a practice period during which half of the Ss in each treatment received effort attribution for success and difficulty. Both treatments enhanced division persistence, accuracy, and perceived efficacy, but cognitive modeling produced greater gains in accuracy. Perceived efficacy was an accurate predictor of arithmetic performance across levels of task difficulty and modes of treatment. The treatment combining modeling with effort attribution produced the highest congruence between efficacy judgment and performance. (34 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The present research firstly investigated the neural correlates (ERPs, event-related potentials) of attitudes to engage in prosocial-helping behaviors, and secondly, it analyzed the relation between these brain-based potentials and personal profile (high vs. low empathic profile). It was considered the subjects' behavior in response to specific emotional situations (positive vs. negative) in case it was required a possible prosocial intervention. Thirty-one subjects were invited to empathize with the emotional contexts (videotapes that reproduced two person's exchanges) and to decide whether to intervene or not to support these persons. BEES questionnaire for empathic behavior was submitted to the subjects after the experimental session. ERP acquisition and LORETA source analysis revealed a negative ongoing deflection (N200 effect) more prefrontally distributed (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) in response to prosocial intervention options mainly for negative and positive contexts. Moreover, a significant positive correlation was found between high-empathic profiles, intervention behaviors (higher frequency of interventions) and N200 amplitude (higher peak). These results highlight the role of emotions in prosocial behavior, since the N200 effect was considered a marker of the emotional significance of the interpersonal situation. Secondly, the empathic trait may explain the prosocial decisional processes: Higher empathic trait contributes to induce subject's intervention behavior which in turn appears to be directly related to the cortical responsiveness within the prefrontal areas.
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This study examined the effects on group performance and evaluation of three factors: intergroup competition or cooperation, intragroup competition or cooperation, and task means-interdependence. Intragroup cooperation was related positively to performance on a high means-interdependent task and was related negatively to performance on a low means-interdependent task. However, this relationship held only when there was intergroup cooperation rather than intergroup competition. These results were discussed in terms of their implications for the relative magnitude of the motives produced by the intragroup and intergroup reward structure. Evaluations of ingroup members were higher when there was intragroup cooperation than when there was intragroup competition. To foster ingroup liking, it was not necessary to introduce intergroup competition.
Article
How social comparative information and specific, proximal goals influence children's skillful performance and percepts of self-efficacy in the context of arithmetic competency development was explored. Low-achieving children in arithmetic received instruction in division and practice opportunities. One group was provided with social comparative information indicating the average number of problems solved by other children. A second group worked under conditions involving a goal of completing a given number of problems. A third group received both treatments, and a fourth group received neither treatment. Results yielded a significant main effect on perceived efficacy due to proximal goals. Children who received both goals and comparative information demonstrated the highest level of division skill. Results suggest exploring in greater detail how children weight and combine multiple sources of efficacy information.
Article
Conceptual and empirical approaches to the study of the role of asymmetric frontal cortical activity in emotional processes are reviewed. Although early research suggested that greater left than right frontal cortical activity was associated with positive affect, more recent research, primarily on anger, suggests that greater left than right frontal cortical activity is associated with approach motivation, which can be positive (e.g., enthusiasm) or negative in valence (e.g., anger). In addition to reviewing this research on anger, research on guilt, bipolar disorder, and various types of positive affect is reviewed with relation to their association with asymmetric frontal cortical activity. The reviewed research not only contributes to a more complete understanding of the emotive functions of asymmetric frontal cortical activity, but it also points to the importance of considering motivational direction as separate from affective valence in psychological models of emotional space.
Article
We used Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) to simultaneously measure brain activity in two people while they played a computer-based cooperation game side by side. Inter-brain activity coherence was calculated between the two participants. We found that the coherence between signals generated by participants' right superior frontal cortices increased during cooperation, but not during competition. Increased coherence was also associated with better cooperation performance. To our knowledge, this work represents the first use of a single NIRS instrument for simultaneous measurements of brain activity in two people. This study demonstrates the use of NIRS-based hyperscanning in studies of social interaction in a naturalistic environment.
Article
Empathy is related to the natural human ability to understand emotions and feelings of others, where a sort of "resonance" mechanism between the observer and the observed permits a direct form of understanding. The present study explored four different measures related to empathic behavior in a social context: autonomic behavior (skin conductance--SCR, and heart rate--HR), personal response to empathic scale (BEES), approach-withdrawal attitudes (BIS/BAS), and verbal self-report measures. Participants were presented with different interpersonal scene types (cooperation, non-cooperation, conflict, indifference), and they were required to empathize with them. Different autonomic response patterns were found as a function of the interpersonal situations: SCR and HR increased in case of conflictual and non-cooperative situations. This result was confirmed by self-rating measures on empathy, since emotional involvement and valence attributed to the scenes varied in concomitance with psychophysiological parameters. Third, high and low BEES subjects showed different empathic behavior: high empathic subjects were more responsive (on both self-report and autonomic response) to empathy-related situations than low empathic subjects. Finally, BIS and BAS attitudes demonstrated a significant relationship with both BEES and autonomic patterns: high BAS subjects were more responsive and empathic with positive, cooperative situations, whereas high BIS empathized with more negative, conflictual situations. The convergence of these multidimensional measures was discussed.
Article
One important aspect of empathy is a "resonance mechanism", which includes emotional cue detection, facial mimicry (measured by electromyography, EMG) and a specific cortical response. This study explored the convergence of these three measures of affective empathy. The twenty students who took part in the study were required to empathise with the situation by entering into the other person's situation. The four emotions portrayed were anger, fear, happiness, and neutral, and the subjects were instructed to make a two-alternative response (emotion or no emotion) to each emotion. A repeated transcranial magnetic stimulation was used to produce a temporary inhibition of the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC). The results support the hypothesis that there is a direct relationship between emotional cue recognition, EMG-measured facial response and prefrontal activity. First, both facial expression detection and autonomic mimicry in reaction to emotional faces were systematically modulated in response to inhibition of the MPFC. Second, the MPFC was implicated in facial cue detection and the subsequent autonomic response because an impaired performance on both measures was observed when this brain area was inhibited. Third, this effect increased when negative-valenced stimuli (angry and fearful faces) were presented to the subjects. These results revealed a significant effect of the MPFC on both cue detection and facial mimicry that was distinctly related to different types of emotions.
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The brain activity during cooperation as a form of social process is studied. We investigate the relationship between coinstantaneous brain-activation signals of multiple participants and their cooperative-task performance. A wearable near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) system is used for simultaneously measuring the brain activities of two participants. Each pair of participants perform a cooperative task, and their relative changes in cerebral blood are measured with the NIRS system. As for the task, the participants are told to count 10 s in their mind after an auditory cue and press a button. They are also told to adjust the timing of their button presses to make them as synchronized as possible. Certain information, namely, the "intertime interval" between the two button presses of each participant pair and which of the participants was the faster, is fed back to the participants by a beep sound after each trial. When the spatiotemporal covariance between the activation patterns of the prefrontal cortices of each participant is higher, the intertime interval between their button-press times was shorter. This result suggests that the synchronized activation patterns of the two participants' brains are associated with their performance when they interact in a cooperative task.
Article
Asymmetry in comprehension of facial expression of emotions was explored in the present study by analysing alpha band variation within the right and left cortical sides. Second, the behavioural activation system (BAS) and behavioural inhibition system (BIS) were considered as an explicative factor to verify the effect of a motivational/emotional variable on alpha activity. A total of 19 participants looked at an ample range of facial expressions of emotions (anger, fear, surprise, disgust, happiness, sadness, and neutral) in random order. The results demonstrated that anterior frontal sites were more active than central and parietal sites in response to facial stimuli. Moreover, right and left side responses varied as a function of emotional types, with an increased right frontal activity for negative, aversive emotions vs an increased left response for positive emotion. Finally, whereas higher BIS participants generated more right hemisphere activation for some negative emotions (such as fear, anger, surprise, and disgust), BAS participants were more responsive to positive emotion (happiness) within the left hemisphere. Motivational significance of facial expressions was considered to elucidate cortical differences in participants' responses to emotional types.
Article
Several studies have described cranio-cerebral correlations in accordance with the 10-20 electrode placement system. These studies have made a significant contribution to human brain imaging techniques, such as near-infrared spectroscopy and trans-magnetic stimulation. With the recent development of high resolution EEG, an extension of the 10-20 system has been proposed. This new configuration, namely the 10-10 system, allows the placement of a high number (64-256) of EEG electrodes. Here, we describe the cranio-cerebral correlations with the 10-10 system. Thanks to the development of a new EEG-MRI sensor and an automated algorithm which enables the projection of electrode positions onto the cortical surface, we studied the cortical projections in 16 healthy subjects using the Talairach stereotactic system and estimated the variability of cortical projections in a statistical way. We found that the cortical projections of the 10-10 system could be estimated with a grand standard deviation of 4.6 mm in x, 7.1 mm in y and 7.8 mm in z. We demonstrated that the variability of projections is greatest in the central region and parietal lobe and least in the frontal and temporal lobes. Knowledge of cranio-cerebral correlations with the 10-10 system should enable to increase the precision of surface brain imaging and should help electrophysiological analyses, such as localization of superficial focal cortical generators.
Article
Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a non invasive, portable, safe technique for monitoring cerebral oxygenation and haemodynamics. Since it does not involve the use of ionising radiation it may be used repeatedly to produce serial measurements of CBF and CBV in patients, and continuously to provide trend data about cerebral circulation changes. NIRS allows measurements to be made at the bedside with minimal disturbance to other monitoring and treatment procedures. Although regional information is not yet available, good time resolution allows rapid changes in cerebral haemodynamics to be observed.
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Previous research has shown that observing others' actions can affect individual performance of the same actions. In the present study, we developed a new paradigm to investigate whether and how complementary actions at the disposal of another agent are represented and influence one's own actions. A spatial compatibility task was distributed among two people so that each participant took care of one of two responses. The identical task was performed alone and alongside another participant. There was a spatial compatibility effect in the group setting only. It was similar to the effect obtained when one person took care of both responses. This result suggests that one's own actions and others' actions are represented in a functionally equivalent way.