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J Neurosci. 2012 Nov 7;32(45):16064-9. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2926-12.2012.

Neural synchronization during face-to-face communication.

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1
State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, P.R. China.

Abstract

Although the human brain may have evolutionarily adapted to face-to-face communication, other modes of communication, e.g., telephone and e-mail, increasingly dominate our modern daily life. This study examined the neural difference between face-to-face communication and other types of communication by simultaneously measuring two brains using a hyperscanning approach. The results showed a significant increase in the neural synchronization in the left inferior frontal cortex during a face-to-face dialog between partners but none during a back-to-back dialog, a face-to-face monologue, or a back-to-back monologue. Moreover, the neural synchronization between partners during the face-to-face dialog resulted primarily from the direct interactions between the partners, including multimodal sensory information integration and turn-taking behavior. The communicating behavior during the face-to-face dialog could be predicted accurately based on the neural synchronization level. These results suggest that face-to-face communication, particularly dialog, has special neural features that other types of communication do not have and that the neural synchronization between partners may underlie successful face-to-face communication.

PMID:
23136442
DOI:
10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2926-12.2012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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