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Vocal interaction during rhythmic joint action stabilizes interpersonal coordination and individual movement timing

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  • Kohei Miyata, University of Tokyo
  • ,
  • Manuel Varlet, Western Sydney University
  • ,
  • Akito Miura, Waseda University
  • ,
  • Kazutoshi Kudo, University of Tokyo
  • ,
  • Peter E. Keller

Because work songs are ubiquitous around the world, singing while working and performing a task with a coactor is presumably beneficial for both joint action and individual task performance. The present study investigated the impact of interpersonal rhythmic vocal interaction on interpersonal phase relations and on individual motor timing performance, which was evaluated by a synchronization-continuation paradigm requiring whole-body movement with or without visual contact. Participants repeated the syllable “tah” or remained silent in a manipulation of vocal interaction, and they were oriented toward or away from their partner to manipulate visual interaction. Results indicated the occurrence of spontaneous interpersonal coordination, evidenced by interpersonal phase relations that were closer to 0° and less variable when participants interacted both visually and vocally. At the individual level, visual interaction increased the variability of synchronization with the metronome but did not modulate the variability of continuation movements, whereas vocal interaction helped to decrease the variability of synchronization and continuation movements. Visual interaction therefore degraded individual movement timing while vocal interaction improved it. Communication via the auditory modality may play a compensatory role in naturalistic contexts where visual contact has potential destabilizing effects. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: General
Pages (from-to)385-394
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Australian Research Council

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Psychological Association

    Research areas

  • movement timing, spontaneous interpersonal coordination, synchronization-continuation task, vocal interaction

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