Dr Pascal Vrtička

Talk: Are we on the same wavelength? Individual differences in interpersonal neural synchrony

Social neuroscience is currently undergoing an important transition from first- to second-person experimental paradigms. Whereas most earlier studies assessed brain activation in single individuals, recent technical advances nowadays allow for the simultaneous measurement of brain activity from (at least) two participants during live social interaction. In so doing, interpersonal neural synchrony (INS) can be derived as a new biomarker at the dyadic level, reflecting the temporal alignment of brain activation de- and increases over time. In my talk, I will describe how INS can be measured by functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) hyperscanning and how it relates to bio-behavioural synchrony during social interaction more generally. I will then show how INS, in combination with behavioural observations, semi-structured interviews and self-reports, can be used to assess individual differences in interaction and relationship quality. For the latter aspect, I will be mainly focussing on attachment and caregiving inspired by attachment theory.

Dr Pascal Vrticka is a social neuroscientist focusing on the psychological, behavioural, biological, and brain basis of human social interaction, attachment, and caregiving. Dr Vrticka’s research is dedicated to measuring neurobiological responses to different kinds of social versus non-social information in individual participants. More recently, Dr Vrticka adopted a 2nd person social neuroscience approach, starting to assess bio-behavioural synchrony in interacting dyads to understand how romantic partners and parents with their children get “in sync” when they solve problems together or talk to each other.

%d bloggers like this: