Intra- and Inter-Brain Synchronization during Musical Improvisation on the Guitar

Humans interact with the environment through sensory and motor acts. Some of these interactions require synchronization among two or more individuals. Multiple-trial designs, which we have used in past work to study interbrain synchronization in the course of joint action, constrain the range of observable interactions. To overcome the limitations of multiple-trial designs, we conducted single-trial analyses of electroencephalography (EEG) signals recorded from eight pairs of guitarists engaged in musical improvisation. We identified hyper-brain networks based on a complex interplay of different frequencies. The intra-brain connections primarily involved higher frequencies (e.g., beta), whereas inter-brain connections primarily operated at lower frequencies (e.g., delta and theta). The topology of hyper-brain networks was frequency-dependent, with a tendency to become more regular at higher frequencies. We also found hyper-brain modules that included nodes (i.e., EEG electrodes) from both brains. Some of the observed network properties were related to musical roles during improvisation. Our findings replicate and extend earlier work and point to mechanisms that enable individuals to engage in temporally coordinated joint action.

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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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