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Abstract

Functional connectivity during cooperative actions is an important topic in social neuroscience that has yet to be answered. Here, we examined the effects of administration of (fictitious) negative social feedback in relation to cooperative capabilities. Cognitive performance and neural activation underlying the execution of joint actions was recorded with functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) on prefrontal regions during a task where pairs of participants received negative feedback after their joint action. Performance (error rates (ERs) and response times (RTs)) and intra- and inter-brain connectivity indices were computed, along with the ConIndex (inter-brain/intra-brain connectivity). Finally, correlational measures were considered to assess the relation between these different measures. Results showed that the negative feedback was able to modulate participants' responses for both behavioral and neural components. Cognitive performance was decreased after the feedback. Moreover, decreased inter-brain connectivity and increased intra-brain connectivity was induced by the feedback, whereas the cooperative task pre-feedback condition was able to increase the brain-to-brain coupling, mainly localized within the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Finally, the presence of significant correlations between RTs and inter-brain connectivity revealed that ineffective joint action produces the worst cognitive performance and a more 'individual strategy' for brain activity, limiting the inter-brain connectivity. The present study provides a significant contribution to the identification of patterns of intra- and inter-brain functional connectivity when negative social reinforcement is provided in relation to cooperative actions.

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... 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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... 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]. ...
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... The degree of language understanding seems to be correlated with the extent of anticipatory neural coupling of the listener's to the speaker's brain, particularly in regions involved in predictive and valuerelated processing including medial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Stephens et al., 2010). In line with these results, functional near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) has shown that the DLPFC is involved in inter-subject coupling when subjects have to cooperate, and the degree of coupling in the DLPFC reflects the degree of cooperativeness (Balconi et al., 2018). ...
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... However, it did not include tuning analyses. Starting from previous literature on hyperscanning in interactive situations (Balconi et al., 2018b;Balconi, Vanutelli, & Gatti, 2018;Liu et al., 2016;Liu, Saito, & Oi, 2015), we specifically focused on the prefrontal and frontal areas of the brain which are known to be involved in higher-order cognitive functions. Indeed, one of the fundamental requirements of organizational leaders is to regulate and monitor their and others' behavior (Zaccaro, Foti, & Kenny, 1991). ...
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... These devices enable us to monitor dynamic fluctuations in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in real-time by evaluating concentration changes in cerebral hemoglobin [50][51][52]. Different types of cognitive tasks such as motor [53][54][55] and social activity [56][57][58], have been evaluated using NIRS. Currently, fNIRS devices are flourishing and have been noted as being useful in psychiatry [59,60] and psychology [61][62][63][64] development. ...
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... In addition, compared to other previous research, which included both negative feedback on cooperative actions [41] or competitive tasks [42,43], the present study could induce different and specific effects, including improving cognitive performance and the increased interbrain connectivity (but not the intra-brain connectivity), which specifically represents cooperative and positively reinforced cooperative conditions. Finally, the significance of the correlation between behavioral performance (RTs reduction) and the inter-brain connectivity, but not between RTs and intra-brain connectivity, may suggest that a brain-to-brain coupling induced by a cooperative task may be directly associated with a significantly improved performance. ...
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