Imaging the Social Brain by Simultaneous Hyperscanning During Subject Interaction

Prof. Fabio Babiloni - University of Rome Sapienza
Date and time
Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 3:30 PM - 15:30 inizio prima parte seminario; 16:15 rinfresco; 16:30 inizio seconda parte
Ca' Vignal - Piramide, Floor 0, Hall Verde
Programme Director
Gloria Menegaz
External reference
Publication date
August 30, 2011
Computer Science  


A major limitation of the approaches used in most of the studies performed so far for the characterization of the brain responses during social interaction is that only one of the participating brains is measured each time. The “interaction” between cooperating, competing or communicating brains is thus not measured directly, but inferred by independent observations aggregated by cognitive models and assumptions that link behavior and neural activation. Thus, in order to study the concurrent activity in subjects interacting in cooperation or competition activities, the issue of the simultaneous recording of their brain activity became mandatory. The simultaneous recording of neuroelectric activity of the brain is called “EEG hyperscanning”

In this work, we use the simultaneous neuroelectric recording of several subjects engaged in cooperative games. This EEG hyperscanning allow us to observe and model directly the neural signature of human interactions in order to understand the cerebral processes generating and generated by social cooperation or competition. We used a paradigm called Prisoner’s dilemma derived from the game theory. Results collected in a population of 52 subjects suggested that the most consistently activated structure in social interaction paradigms is the medial prefrontal cortex, which is found to be active in all the conflict situations analyzed. EEG hyperscannings will open a different area for the study of neuroscience, in which the activity of multiple brains during social cooperation could be investigated



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