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Behavioural and neural correlates of emergent proto-languages and joint action

Thorne, N. T. (2021) Behavioural and neural correlates of emergent proto-languages and joint action. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00101684


Haptic communication between humans plays a vital role in society. Although this form of communication is ubiquitous at all levels of society and human development, little is known about how synchronized coordination of motion between two persons would lead to higher-order cognitive functions used in haptic communication. During this project, a novel experimental paradigm was developed. In it, participants used their hands to control the rod to collect the coins on the screen. The aim was to investigate the neural and behavioural correlates of emergent haptic communication between paired participants. During the experiment, haptic interactions and neural synchronizations between paired participants were recorded and compared to baseline pairs. Baseline pairs were created from non-interacting single participants. During the Ph.D., two experiments were conducted. The first focused on haptic interactions and characterising the emergent proto-language that participants used to communicate. The second experiment used a novel hyperscanning methodology to isolate the synchronization characteristics of emergent proto-languages and social interactions. The EEG experiment presented here explores the interbrain synchronization between interacting participants systematically. This paradigm allows participants to interact with each other freely. This genuinely novel paradigm allows researchers to study pairs of participants in truly social situations. By comparing pairs with single participants, it has been possible to identify behavioural and neural characteristics related to the emergent proto-language that participants are using as a means of communication. Both of the experiments detailed here describe pioneering work in the study of social interactions and the emergence of protolanguages.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Hayashi, Y. and Nasuto, S.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Biological Sciences
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences
ID Code:101684
Date on Title Page:2019


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