Brain-to-brain synchronization across two persons predicts mutual prosociality

People tend to be more prosocial after synchronizing behaviors with others, yet the underlying neural mechanisms are rarely known. In this study, participant dyads performed either a coordination task or an independence task, with their brain activations recorded via the functional near-infrared spectroscopy hyper scanning technique. Participant dyads in the coordination group showed higher synchronized behaviors and greater subsequent inclination to help each other than those in the independence group, indicating the prosocial effect of interpersonal synchrony. Importantly, the coordination group demonstrated significant task-related brain coherence, namely the interbrain synchronization, in the left middle frontal area. The detected interbrain synchronization was sensitive to shared intentionality between participants and was correlated with the mutual prosocial inclination. Further, the task-related brain coherence played a mediation role in the prosocial effect of interpersonal synchrony. This study reveals the relevance of brain-to-brain synchronization among individuals with the subsequent mutual prosocial inclination and suggests the neural mechanism associating with shared cognition for the facilitation of interpersonal synchrony on prosociality.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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