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Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2016 Jan;11(1):23-32. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsv092. Epub 2015 Jul 25.

Interpersonal brain synchronization in the right temporo-parietal junction during face-to-face economic exchange.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning & IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Center for Collaboration and Innovation in Brain and Learning Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China.
2
Department of Psychology, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China.
3
Molecular Neuroscience Department, and Department of Psychology, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA.
4
State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning & IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Center for Collaboration and Innovation in Brain and Learning Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China, liuchao@bnu.edu.cn.

Abstract

In daily life, interpersonal interactions are influenced by uncertainty about other people's intentions. Face-to-face (FF) interaction reduces such uncertainty by providing external visible cues such as facial expression or body gestures and facilitates shared intentionality to promote belief of cooperative decisions and actual cooperative behaviors in interaction. However, so far little is known about interpersonal brain synchronization between two people engaged in naturally occurring FF interactions. In this study, we combined an adapted ultimatum game with functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) hyperscanning to investigate how FF interaction impacts interpersonal brain synchronization during economic exchange. Pairs of strangers interacted repeatedly either FF or face-blocked (FB), while their activation was simultaneously measured in the right temporo-parietal junction (rTPJ) and the control region, right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (rDLPFC). Behaviorally, FF interactions increased shared intentionality between strangers, leading more positive belief of cooperative decisions and more actual gains in the game. FNIRS results indicated increased interpersonal brain synchronizations during FF interactions in rTPJ (but not in rDLPFC) with greater shared intentionality between partners. These results highlighted the importance of rTPJ in collaborative social interactions during FF economic exchange and warrant future research that combines FF interactions with fNIRS hyperscanning to study social brain disorders such as autism.

KEYWORDS:

fNIRS hyperscanning; face-to-face; intention; social interaction; temporo-parietal junction

PMID:
26211014
PMCID:
PMC4692317
DOI:
10.1093/scan/nsv092
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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