Article

On the Same Wavelength: Exploring Team Neurosynchrony in Undergraduate Dyads Solving a Cyberlearning Problem With Collaborative Scripts

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Abstract

As teammates adjust their cognition and behavior, synchronizations of information can be observed across verbal, postural, and neurophysiological systems. This study explored the synchrony of mutually interacting brains, or team neurosynchrony, during cyber‐enabled collaborative problem solving. Mixed‐sex dyads defined and solved an authentic problem using either a social script or an epistemic script. Alpha‐band phase‐locking value, or the absolute value of the sum of the phase differences of electrodes at a particular time and frequency across a number of epochs, was used as a measure of team neurosynchrony. Contrary to our hypotheses, analyses revealed greater alpha‐band phase‐locking values between the central and parietal electrodes of dyad members in the epistemic script condition. Mean alpha phase‐locking values were positively correlated with collaborative problem solving performance and negatively correlated with time spent on the problem solving process, suggesting that epistemic scripts were more effective scaffolds of collaborative problem solving compared to social scripts in this study.

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... Early two-brain studies investigated situations in which participants engaged in imitation, cooperation, and competition tasks (e.g., Astolfi et al., 2010;Astolfi et al., 2011;Cui et al, 2010, Dumas et al., 2010Montague et al, 2002). Over time the number of studies has proliferated and the experimental paradigms employed have increased in diversity and complexity to examine functional connectivity while interacting through complex strategies requiring elements of cooperation, competition, and deception (e.g., Vanutelli, 2017, Toppi et al., 2016), to producing and receiving language in an array of ecological settings, including educational, creativity and problem-solving scenarios (e.g., Antonenko et al., 2019;Dikker et al., 2017;Mayseless et al., 2019;Xue et al., 2018). ...
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... For example, dyads show greater inter-brain synchrony when cooperating with a partner on a button pressing task than when working competitively (Cui et al., 2012;Cheng et al., 2015;Reindl et al., 2018) or independently (Funane et al., 2011;Mu et al., 2016Mu et al., 2017Hu et al., 2017). 2 These effects are not fully explained by shared motor movements and are often concentrated in brain areas or frequencies associated with attention and mentalizing, suggesting that inter-brain synchrony may arise, at least in part, from the mutual recognition of a partner's role and actions or perception-action coupling (Preston and De Waal, 2002;Sadato, 2017;Schippers and Keysers, 2011; though see, Jacob, 2009). Indeed, the social awareness and increase in inter-brain synchrony that arises when coordinating with a partner may reflect an aspect of how social facilitation impacts team performance (Szymanski et al., 2017) and collaborative learning (Antonenko et al., 2019). Taken together, interbrain synchrony might reflect the sharing of attention or psychological states necessary for coordinating actions (Mu et al., 2018;Minagawa et al., 2018;Dikker et al., 2019), which could facilitate collective performance. ...
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This article presents a conceptual analysis of collaboration scripts used in face-to-face and computer-mediated collaborative learning. Collaboration scripts are scaffolds that aim to improve collaboration through structuring the interactive processes between two or more learning partners. Collaboration scripts consist of at least five components: (a) learning objectives, (b) type of activities, (c) sequencing, (d) role distribution, and (e) type of representation. These components serve as a basis for comparing prototypical collaboration script approaches for face-to-face vs. computer-mediated learning. As our analysis reveals, collaboration scripts for face-to-face learning often focus on supporting collaborators to engage in activities that are specifically related to individual knowledge acquisition. Scripts for computer-mediated collaboration are typically concerned with facilitating communicative-coordinative processes that occur among group members. The two research lines can be consolidated to facilitate the design of collaboration scripts which both support participation and coordination and induce learning activities closely related to individual knowledge acquisition and metacognition. However, research on collaboration scripts needs to consider the learners’ internal collaboration scripts as a further determinant of collaboration behavior. The article closes with the presentation of a conceptual framework incorporating both external and internal collaboration scripts.
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Analyzing Collaborative Interactions in CSCL Methods, Approaches, and Issues Sadhana Puntambekar, Gijsbert Erkens, and Cindy Hmelo-Silver, editors In more than two decades of research in CSCL (Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning), researchers have used several methods to understand how individuals learn in groups and how groups of learners construct knowledge. The individual and group learning processes have been studied using a variety of methods. Analyzing Collaborative Interactions in CSCL reveals the wide range of this research: qualitative and quantitative methods, studies of the learning process as well as outcomes, and the measurement of group and individual members’ learning. Focusing on three major research areas—group processes, learning within groups, and frameworks for analyzing CSCL—leading scholars present models, methods, and tools that readers can adapt to fit their own projects. Basic research issues such as defining the unit of analysis, determining the grain size of the data, and representing the temporality of interactions are discussed in the context of these methods addressing issues such as: • Studying group cognition through the lens of social order. • Using visualization methods to assess group members’ individual progress. • Analyzing collaborative interactions with data mining methods. • Assessing student project groups online and offline. • Using multilevel analysis in text-based communication. • Analyzing collaborative interactions across settings and domains. Together, the chapters in Analyzing Collaborative Interactions in CSCL model a range of methods for CSCL researchers in education, education technology, and cognitive science.
Chapter
A classroom of 7th grade students is developing a scientific model of the factors influencing water quality in their local stream. They run a dynamic simulation of the model to test it, yet they are able to do so without having to produce sophisticated mathematical representations for these relationships. In another classroom, 11th graders are reading primary historical texts and engaging in argumentation to develop a coherent explanation of events, despite lacking the extensive disciplinary knowledge and experience historians use to analyze primary documents. How can these learners participate in activities that share elements of expert practices, but that call on knowledge and skills that they do not yet possess? These feats are possible in the same way that young children can ride two-wheelers using training wheels before they have mastered balancing, or that construction workers can use scaffolding to work on the penthouse before the lower floors have been fully constructed. The Historical Roots of Scaffolding Drawing on the metaphor of scaffolding in building construction, Wood, Bruner, and Ross (1976) proposed the concept of scaffolding to describe how children, with the help of someone more knowledgeable to share and support their problem solving, can perform more complex tasks than they would otherwise be capable of performing on their own (Palincsar, 1998; Rogoff, 1990). Scaffolding may be provided by a variety of different mechanisms. In the example cited earlier, in the history classroom, scaffolding is provided by interaction with guidance from the teacher and curriculum materials (Reisman, 2012), while in the water quality model, part of the assistance is provided by a supportive software environment (Fretz et al., 2002).
Conference Paper
A multi-level framework for analyzing team cognition based on team communication content and team neurophysiology is described. The semantic content of team communication in submarine training crews is quantified using Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA), and their team neurophysiology is quantified using the previously described neurophysiologic synchrony method. In the current study, we validate the LSA communication metrics by demonstrating their sensitivity to variations in training segment and by showing that less experienced (novice) crews can be differentiated from more experienced crews based on the semantic relatedness of their communications. Cross-correlations between an LSA metric and a team neurophysiology metric are explored to examine fluctuations in the lead-lag relationship between team communication and team neurophysiology as a function of training segment and level of team experience. Finally, the implications of this research for team training and assessment are considered.
Book
Team collaboration involves many operational tasks such as team decision-making or course of action selection, developing shared understanding, and intelligence analysis. These operational tasks must be performed in many situations, often under severe time pressure, with information and knowledge uncertainty, large amounts of dynamic information and across different team characteristics. Recent research in this area has focused on various aspects of human collaborative decision-making and the underlying cognitive processes while describing those processes at different levels of detail, making it difficult to compare research results. The theoretical construct of 'macrocognition in teams' was developed to facilitate cognitive research in team collaboration, which will enable a common level of understanding when defining, measuring and discussing the cognitive processes in team collaboration. Macrocognition is defined as both the internalized and externalized mental processes employed by team members in complex, one-of-a-kind, collaborative problem solving. Macrocognition in Teams provides readers with a greater understanding of the macrocognitive processes which support collaborative team activity, showcasing current research, theories, methodologies and tools. It will be of direct relevance to academics, researchers and practitioners interested in group/team interaction, performance, development and training. © Michael P. Letsky, Norman W. Warner, Stephen M. Fiore and C.A.P. Smith, 2008. All rights reserved.
Article
Teams perform cognitive activities such as making decisions and assessing situations as a unit. The team cognition behind these activities has traditionally been linked to individual knowledge and its distribution across team members. The theory of interactive team cognition instead argues that team cognition resides in team interactions and that it is an activity that takes place in a rich context that needs to be measured at the team level. This article describes this dynamic perspective on team cognition, some research that supports it, and the implications for measuring, understanding, and improving team cognition.
Article
In this article we develop a conceptual framework that examines the relationship between shared mental models, task interdependence, and virtual team performance. In addition, we use media synchronicity theory to examine how various attributes of the technologies used by virtual teams to communicate can influence the development of shared mental models. Finally, we employ a sense-making lens to explore in more detail how features inherent to different communication technologies influence the development of shared mental models. Our goal is that through examining these relationships, some of the mixed findings in prior virtual team research may be better explained.
Article
The goal was to develop quantitative models of the neurodynamic organizations of teams that could be used for comparing performance within and across teams and sessions. A symbolic modeling system was developed, where raw electroencephalography (EEG) signals from dyads were first transformed into second-by-second estimates of the cognitive Workload or Engagement of each person and transformed again into symbols representing the aggregated levels of the team. The resulting neurodynamic symbol streams had a persistent structure and contained segments of differential symbol expression. The quantitative Shannon entropy changes during these periods were related to speech, performance, and team responses to task changes. The dyads in an unscripted map navigation task (Human Communication Research Centre (HCRC) Map Task (MT)) developed fluctuating dynamics for Workload and Engagement, as they established their teamwork rhythms, and these were disrupted by external changes to the task. The entropy fluctuations during these disruptions differed in frequency, magnitude, and duration, and were associated with qualitative and quantitative changes in team organization and performance. These results indicate that neurodynamic models may be reliable, sensitive, and valid indicators of the changing neurodynamics of teams around which standardized quantitative models can begin to be developed.
Teams of people working together for a common purpose have been a centerpiece of human social organization ever since our ancient ancestors first banded together to hunt game, raise families, and defend their communities. Human history is largely a story of people working together in groups to explore, achieve, and conquer. Yet, the modern concept of work in large organizations that developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries is largely a tale of work as a collection of individual jobs. A variety of global forces unfolding over the last two decades, however, has pushed organizations worldwide to restructure work around teams, to enable more rapid, flexible, and adaptive responses to the unexpected. This shift in the structure of work has made team effectiveness a salient organizational concern. Teams touch our lives everyday and their effectiveness is important to well-being across a wide range of societal functions. There is over 50 years of psychological research—literally thousands of studies—focused on understanding and influencing the processes that underlie team effectiveness. Our goal in this monograph is to sift through this voluminous literature to identify what we know, what we think we know, and what we need to know to improve the effectiveness of work groups and teams. We begin by defining team effectiveness and establishing the conceptual underpinnings of our approach to understanding it. We then turn to our review, which concentrates primarily on topics that have well-developed theoretical and empirical foundations, to ensure that our conclusions and recommendations are on firm footing. Our review begins by focusing on cognitive, motivational/affective, and behavioral team processes—processes that enable team members to combine their resources to resolve task demands and, in so doing, be effective. We then turn our attention to identifying interventions, or “levers,” that can shape or align team processes and thereby provide tools and applications that can improve team effectiveness. Topic-specific conclusions and recommendations are given throughout the review. There is a solid foundation for concluding that there is an emerging science of team effectiveness and that findings from this research foundation provide several means to improve team effectiveness. In the concluding section, we summarize our primary findings to highlight specific research, application, and policy recommendations for enhancing the effectiveness of work groups and teams.
Article
Contrasts are statistical procedures for asking focused questions of data. Researchers, teachers of research methods and graduate students will be familiar with the principles and procedures of contrast analysis included here. But they, for the first time, will also be presented with a series of newly developed concepts, measures, and indices that permit a wider and more useful application of contrast analysis. This volume takes on this new approach by introducing a family of correlational effect size estimates. By returning to these correlations throughout the book, the authors demonstrate special adaptations in a variety of contexts from two group comparison to one way analysis of variance contexts, to factorial designs, to repeated measures designs and to the case of multiple contrasts.
Article
Learning to argue is an essential objective in education; and online environments have been found to support the sharing, constructing, and representing of arguments in multiple formats for what has been termed Argumentation-Based Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (ABCSCL). The purpose of this review is to give an overview of research in the field of ABCSCL and to synthesize the findings. For this review, 108 publications (89 empirical studies and 19 conceptual papers) on ABCSCL research dating from 1995 through 2011 were studied to highlight the foci of the past 15 years. Building on Biggs’ (2003) model, the ABCSCL publications were systematically categorized with respect to student prerequisites, learning environment, processes, and outcomes. Based on the quantitative and qualitative findings, this paper concludes that ABCSCL environments should be designed in a systematic way that takes the variety of specific conditions for learning into account. It also offers suggestions for educational practice and future research.
Article
To investigate whether self-reflection on personality traits engages distinct neural mechanisms of self-related attentional orienting and self-related evaluation, we recorded electroencephalograms from adults while they made trait judgments about themselves and an age- and gender-matched friend, or judgments of word valence. Each trial consisted of a cue word that indicated a target person for trait judgment or instructed valence judgment, followed by a trait adjective to be evaluated. Using a wavelet analysis, we calculated time-frequency power at each electrode and phase synchrony between electrode pairs associated with self-, friend- or valence-cues and with trait adjectives during trait or valence judgments. Relative to friend- and valence-cues, self-cues elicited increased synchronous activity in delta (2-4 Hz), theta (5-7 Hz), alpha (8-13 Hz), beta (14-26 Hz), and gamma (28-40 Hz) bands, and increased large-scale phase synchrony in these frequency bands. Self-related evaluation compared to friend-related evaluation during trait judgments induced stronger desynchronization in alpha, beta and gamma band activities, and decreased phase synchrony in alpha and gamma band activities. Our findings suggest that self-related attentional orienting and self-related evaluation engage distinct neural mechanisms that are respectively characterized by synchrony and desynchrony of neural activity in local assemblies and between long-distance brain regions.
Article
Many research problems in psychology require statistical methods that take into account the dependencies introduced by dyadic interaction. The authors provide correlational tools for dyadic data when the individuals within the dyads are both from the same class or category, such as 2 male adults. First, the authors provide significance tests for correlations between 2 variables when individuals are nested within dyads. Second, they provide a simplified method for decomposing the overall correlation into individual-level and dyad-level relations. Finally, the authors demonstrate these methods with dyadic data collected by L. Stinson and W. Ickes (1992) in a study of unstructured dyadic interactions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This paper reviews the published literature on the hyperscanning methodologies using hemodynamic or neuro-electric modalities. In particular, we describe how different brain recording devices have been employed in different experimental paradigms to gain information about the subtle nature of human interactions. This review also included papers based on single-subject recordings in which a correlation was found between the activities of different (non-simultaneously recorded) participants in the experiment. The descriptions begin with the methodological issues related to the simultaneous measurements and the descriptions of the results generated by such approaches will follow. Finally, a discussion of the possible future uses of such new approaches to explore human social interactions will be presented.
Article
Cognitive neurophysiologic synchronies (NS) are low-level data streams derived from electroencephalography (EEG) measurements that can be collected and analyzed in near real time and in realistic settings. The objective of this study was to relate the expression of NS for engagement to the frequency of conversation between team members during Submarine Piloting and Navigation (SPAN) simulations. If the expression of different NS patterns is sensitive to changes in the behavior of teams, they may be a useful tool for studying team cognition. EEG-derived measures of engagement (EEG-E) from SPAN team members were normalized and pattern classified by self-organizing artificial neural networks and hidden Markov models. The temporal expression of these patterns was mapped onto team events and related to the frequency of team members' speech. Standardized models were created with pooled data from multiple teams to facilitate comparisons across teams and levels of expertise and to provide a framework for rapid monitoring of team performance. The NS expression for engagement shifted across task segments and internal and external task changes.These changes occurred within seconds and were affected more by changes in the task than by the person speaking.Shannon entropy measures of the NS data stream showed decreases associated with periods when the team was stressed and speaker entropy was high. These studies indicate that expression of neurophysiologic indicators measured by EEG may complement rather than duplicate communication metrics as measures of team cognition. Neurophysiologic approaches may facilitate the rapid determination of the cognitive status of a team and support the development of novel adaptive approaches to optimize team function.
Article
We investigated how differently structured external scripts interact with learners' internal scripts with respect to individual knowledge acquisition in a Web-based collaborative inquiry learning environment. Ninety students from two secondary schools participated. Two versions of an external collaboration script (high vs. low structured) supporting collaborative argumentation were embedded within a Web-based collaborative inquiry learning environment. Students' internal scripts were classified as either high or low structured, establishing a 2 × 2-factorial design. Results suggest that the high structured external collaboration script supported the acquisition of domain-general knowledge of all learners regardless of their internal scripts. Learners' internal scripts influenced the acquisition of domain-specific knowledge. Results are discussed concerning their theoretical relevance and practical implications for Web-based inquiry learning with collaboration scripts.
Article
With the expanding availability and capability of varied technologies, classroom-based problem solving has become an increasingly attainable, yet still elusive, goal. Evidence of technology-enhanced problem-solving teaching and learning in schools has been scarce, understanding how to support students’ problem solving in classroom-based, technology-enhanced learning environments has been limited, and coherent frameworks to guide implementation have been slow to emerge. Whereas researchers have examined the use and impact of scaffolds in mathematics, science, and reading, comparatively little research has focused on scaffolding learning in real-world, everyday classroom settings. Web-based systems have been developed to support problem solving, but implementations suggest variable enactment and inconsistent impact. The purpose of this article is to identify critical issues in scaffolding students’ technology-enhanced problem solving in everyday classrooms. First, we examine two key constructs (problem solving and scaffolding) and propose a framework that includes essential dimensions to be considered when teachers scaffold student problem solving in technology-rich classes. We then investigate issues related to peer-, teacher-, and technology-enhanced scaffolds, and conclude by examining implications for research.
Article
This study focuses on stimulating social knowledge construction in e-discussions and examines the introduction of five roles: starter, summariser, moderator, theoretician, and source searcher. Asynchronous discussion groups of 10 1st-year students Instructional Sciences were organised to foster students’ processing of the learning content. Four successive authentic tasks of three weeks each were presented. Taking into account the moment of introduction of the role assignment (at the start of the discussions versus at the end), the differential impact of the roles on knowledge construction is studied through quantitative content analysis based on the interaction analysis model of Gunawardena, Lowe, and Anderson (1997). The results show a positive effect of role assignment on students’ social knowledge construction at the start of the discussions. This implies that roles should be introduced at the start of the discussions and can be faded out towards the end. With respect to the differential impact of the roles, the results show that messages from moderators, theoreticians, and summarisers reflect higher levels of knowledge construction at the start of the discussions. Even students without a role in role-supported groups benefit from the role introduction.
Article
Human adults remember better trait words that are referenced to the self than those referenced to others. To investigate whether non-phase-locked neural oscillations engage in the self-reference effect, we recorded electroencephalogram (EEG) from healthy adults during trait judgments of the self and a familiar other. The wavelet analysis was used to calculate non-phase-locked time-frequency power associated with encoding of trait adjectives referenced to the self or the familiar other at theta (5-7 Hz), alpha (8-13 Hz), beta (14-27 Hz) and gamma (28-40 Hz) bands. We found that, relative to other-referential traits, self-referential traits induced event-related synchronization of theta-band activity over the frontal area at 700-800 ms and of alpha-band activity over the central area at 400-600 ms. In contrast, event-related desynchronization associated with self-referential traits was observed in beta-band activity over the central-parietal area at 700-800 ms and in gamma-band activity over the fronto-central area at 500-600 ms. Moreover, valence of traits referenced to the self and self-relevance of traits respectively led to modulations of theta/alpha- and beta/gamma-band activity. Finally, event-related synchronization of frontal theta-band activity at 700-800 ms positively correlated with the self-reference effect observed during memory retrieval. Our results indicate that non-phase-locked neural activity is involved in self-reflexive thinking. In addition, low and high-frequency neural oscillations play different roles in emotional and cognitive aspects of self-reference processing.