Information flow between interacting human brains

Identification, validation, and relationship to social expertise

Edda Bilek, Matthias Ruf, Axel Schäfer, Ceren Akdeniz, Vince Daniel Calhoun, Christian Schmahl, Charmaine Demanuele, Heike Tost, Peter Kirsch, Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Social interactions are fundamental for human behavior, but the quantification of their neural underpinnings remains challenging. Here, we used hyperscanning functional MRI (fMRI) to study information flow between brains of human dyads during real-time social interaction in a joint attention paradigm. In a hardware setup enabling immersive audiovisual interaction of subjects in linked fMRI scanners, we characterize cross-brain connectivity components that are unique to interacting individuals, identifying information flow between the sender's and receiver's temporoparietal junction. We replicate these findings in an independent sample and validate our methods by demonstrating that cross-brain connectivity relates to a key real-world measure of social behavior. Together, our findings support a central role of human-specific cortical areas in the brain dynamics of dyadic interactions and provide an approach for the noninvasive examination of the neural basis of healthy and disturbed human social behavior with minimal a priori assumptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5207-5212
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume112
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 21 2015
Externally publishedYes

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Forensic Anthropology
Social Behavior
Brain
Interpersonal Relations
Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Keywords

  • fMRI
  • Hyperscanning
  • Joint attention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Information flow between interacting human brains : Identification, validation, and relationship to social expertise. / Bilek, Edda; Ruf, Matthias; Schäfer, Axel; Akdeniz, Ceren; Calhoun, Vince Daniel; Schmahl, Christian; Demanuele, Charmaine; Tost, Heike; Kirsch, Peter; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 112, No. 16, 21.04.2015, p. 5207-5212.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bilek, Edda ; Ruf, Matthias ; Schäfer, Axel ; Akdeniz, Ceren ; Calhoun, Vince Daniel ; Schmahl, Christian ; Demanuele, Charmaine ; Tost, Heike ; Kirsch, Peter ; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas. / Information flow between interacting human brains : Identification, validation, and relationship to social expertise. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2015 ; Vol. 112, No. 16. pp. 5207-5212.
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