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Neuroelectrical Hyperscanning Measures Simultaneous Brain Activity in Humans

Abstract

In this study we illustrate a methodology able to follow and study concurrent and simultaneous brain processes during cooperation between individuals, with non invasive EEG methodologies. We collected data from fourteen pairs of subjects while they were playing a card game with EEG. Data collection was made simultaneously on all the subjects during the card game. An extension of the Granger-causality approach allows us to estimate the functional connection between signals estimated from different Regions of Interest (ROIs) in different brains during the analyzed task. Finally, with the use of graph theory, we contrast the functional connectivity patterns of the two players belonging to the same team. Statistically significant functional connectivities were obtained from signals estimated in the ROIs modeling the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the prefrontal areas described by the Brodmann areas 8 with the signals estimated in all the other modelled cortical areas. Results presented suggested the existence of Granger-sense causal relations between the EEG activity estimated in the prefrontal areas 8 and 9/46 of one player with the EEG activity estimated in the ACC of their companion. We illustrated the feasibility of functional connectivity methodology on the EEG hyperscannings performed on a group of subjects. These functional connectivity estimated from the couple of brains could suggest, in statistical and mathematical terms, the modelled cortical areas that are correlated in Granger-sense during the solution of a particular task. EEG hyperscannings could be used to investigate experimental paradigms where the knowledge of the simultaneous interactions between the subjects have a value.

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Acknowledgments

This study was performed with the support of the COST EU project NEUROMATH (BM 0601).

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Correspondence to Fabio Babiloni.

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Astolfi, L., Toppi, J., De Vico Fallani, F. et al. Neuroelectrical Hyperscanning Measures Simultaneous Brain Activity in Humans. Brain Topogr 23, 243–256 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10548-010-0147-9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10548-010-0147-9

Keywords

  • EEG hyperscanning
  • Partial Directed Coherence
  • Functional connectivity