Transient brain networks underlying interpersonal strategies during synchronized action

O A Heggli*, I Konvalinka, J Cabral, E Brattico, M Kringelbach, P Vuust

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Interpersonal coordination is a core part of human interaction, and its underlying mechanisms have been extensively studied using social paradigms such as joint finger tapping. Here, individual and dyadic differences have been found to yield a range of dyadic synchronization strategies, such as mutual adaptation, leading-leading, and leading-following behaviour, but the brain mechanisms that underlie these strategies remain poorly understood. To identify individual brain mechanisms underlying emergence of these minimal social interaction strategies, we contrasted EEG-recorded brain activity in two groups of musicians exhibiting the mutual adaptation and leading-leading strategies. We found that the individuals coordinating via mutual adaptation exhibited a more frequent occurrence of phase-locked activity within a transient action-perception related brain network in the alpha range, as compared to the leading-leading group. Furthermore, we identified parietal and temporal brain regions that changed significantly in the directionality of their within-network information flow. Our results suggest that the stronger weight on extrinsic coupling observed in computational models of mutual adaptation as compared to leading-leading might be facilitated by a higher degree of action-perception network coupling in the brain.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Pages (from-to)19-30
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • EEG
  • Functional connectivity
  • Interpersonal synchronization
  • Musical interaction


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