Interactive Brains, Social Minds

In everyday life, people often need to coordinate their actions with each other. Common examples are walking with someone at a set pace, playing collective sports, dancing, playing music in a duet or group, as well as a wide range of social bonding behaviors, such as gaze coordination between mother and infant or between partners. Despite the undisputed developmental and social significance of these interpersonally coordinated behaviors, little, if anything, is known about their real-time dynamics and about the brain mechanisms that support them. This project investigates lifespan changes in behavioral and neuronal mechanisms that permit individuals to coordinate their behavior with each other in time and space.

© Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

For information on electroencephalograms, see EEG Laboratory.

Recent Publications

Kleinert, M.-L., Szymanski, C., & Müller, V. (in press). Frequency-unspecific effects of θ-tACS related to a visuospatial working memory task. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience.

Müller, V., Anokhin, A. P., & Lindenberger, U. (2017). Genetic influences on phase synchrony of brain oscillations supporting response inhibition. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 115, 125–132. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2016.06.001

Perdikis, D., Volhard, J., Müller, V., Kaulard, K., Brick, T. R., Wallraven, C., & Lindenberger, U. (in press). Brain synchronization during perception of facial emotional expressions with natural and unnatural dynamics. PLoS ONE.


Timothy R. Brick, Pennsylvania State University
Dionysios Perdikis, Aix Marseille University, France

Key References

Lindenberger, U., Li, S.-C., Gruber, W., & Müller, V. (2009). Brains swinging in concert: Cortical phase synchronization while playing guitar. BMC Neuroscience, 10:22. doi: 10.1186/1471-2202-10-22

Müller, V., & Lindenberger, U. (2011). Cardiac and respiratory patterns synchronize between persons during choir singing. PLoS One, 6:e24893. doi: 10.1371/ journal.pone.0024893

Müller, V., & Lindenberger, U. (2014). Hyper-brain networks support romantic kissing in humans. PLoS ONE, 9(11): e112080. doi: 10.1371/journal. pone.0112080

Szymanski, C., Pesquita, A., Brennan, A. A., Perdikis, D., ... Brick, T. R., ... Müller, V., & Lindenberger, U. (2017). Teams on the same wavelength perform better: Inter-brain phase synchronization constitutes a neural substrate for social facilitation. NeuroImage, 152, 425–436. doi: 10.1016/ j.neuroimage.2017.03.013