Electrophysiological Indicators of Brain Activity in the Process of Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication during the Dialogue


We compared several types of EEG parameters of two interlocutors during verbal and non-verbal communication. A hardware–software complex and associated method were developed for EEG hyperscanning, i.e., simultaneous EEG recording in two subjects with different location (face to face and back to back) during observation, listening, dialogue, and monologue. We observed a relationship between the total EEG power and the combination of the verbal and non-verbal components of communication. In the comparison of different types of communication, a statistically significant difference in the EEG power was found when the interlocutors were placed face-to-face and back-to-back. The highest total EEG power of brain activity was observed for the interlocutor location face-to-face compared to back-to-back. Another most important EEG parameter, spectral composition, also varied depending on the communication process of the interlocutors. EEG rhythms in different leads were redistributed. The EEG parameters that can serve as markers of different modes of communication of interlocutors were identified.

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Correspondence to O. V. Zhukova or Yu. E. Shelepin.

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Conflict of interests. The authors declare no explicit and potential conflicts of interest associated with the publication of this article.

Statement of compliance with standards of research involving humans as subjects. All studies were conducted in accordance with the principles of biomedical ethics set out in the Declaration of Helsinki in 1964 and its subsequent updates, and approved by the local bioethics committee of Pavlov Institute of Physiology, Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg). Each study participant provided voluntary written informed consent signed by them after his explanations potential risks and benefits, as well as the nature of the forthcoming investigations.

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Translated by M. Batrukova

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Shchemeleva, O.V., Zhukova, O.V., Shelepin, Y.E. et al. Electrophysiological Indicators of Brain Activity in the Process of Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication during the Dialogue. Hum Physiol 45, 587–595 (2019).

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  • perception of facial expressions and speech
  • verbal and non-verbal communication
  • EEG
  • spectral analysis
  • EEG hyperscanning
  • “mirror” neurons
  • neural networks