Characterizing social interaction via dyadic hyperscanning techniques


Hyperscanning, the simultaneous recording of brain activity from multiple participants, is a crucial experimental model for studying social interactions in the field of cognitive neuroscience. By enabling researchers to investigate real-time interpersonal social encounters, hyperscanning paradigms have yielded results that would otherwise go unnoticed using non-interactive experiments. Dyadic interaction, anchored in mother-infant encounters, is the most fundamental social interaction unit. Derived from this innate inclination, studies focusing on dyadic interactions have identified subtle mechanisms (e.g., social eye gaze and conversational affect) that can contribute to the quality of social interactions. More recently, researchers have benefitted from the continuing efforts in advancing mobile neuroimaging (e.g., mobile EEG) technology, which provide ample opportunities to study the complex interactions in more naturalistic settings. What potential merit can dyadic hyperscanning paradigms bring to the scientific community? Here we provide a comprehensive account of research questions addressed using this methodology. A wide range of social interaction paradigms have been implemented-from basic processes such as social gaze, speech rhythm, and joint movements, to more sophisticated interactions involving empathy, complex cooperation (e.g., leader-follower interaction), as well as competition. Future work investigating social interactions will continue to benefit from dyadic hyperscanning techniques, particularly in the context of real-world settings.

Cognitive Neuroscience Society, Virtual Meeting, Boston, MA